Creating Self-Portrait Illusions with @vivaladiva_

To see more photos and videos of Malin’s self-portraits, follow @vivaladiva_.

On first glance at Malin Bergman’s (@vivaladiva_) self-portraits, you might think she has her back turned to the camera. But upon closer inspection, the truth is revealed.

"I’m really fond of photos that at first sight look nice and flawless, but when you look closer for a while you start to notice details that give an illusion that not all is as peaceful and perfect as you first thought."

Malin uses her long red hair as a prop to create imaginative self-portraits which make the viewer work hard to determine the mood of the photo.

"Quite early on when I started shooting portraits, I was interested in disguising the faces of the people I photographed, both with masques and simply by asking the person to face away from the camera. The facial expression tells you a lot, but if you hide it, it’s harder for the viewer to interpret the mood in the photo which makes it more interesting and lets the viewer interpret it in their own way."

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, her style began as an art project on self-portraits.

"I started to experiment with my camera and self-timer and thought I didn’t just want to take a plain portrait of my face with the hair hanging down, so I combed my hair over my face. When I looked at the photo in the camera, I saw that you couldn’t really tell if it was taken from behind me or in front of me and I liked that optical illusion."

Malin often uses another subject to adjust lighting and composition, then shows them where to hold the phone as she steps into the frame. She tries to add a small detail to distort reality.

"I get very inspired by the surrealism in my pictures, but I try to make that influence just slightly noticeable. I hope that my photos affects the viewer in a way that makes him/her stop and view the picture one more time and let their own fantasies decide what the photo really shows."

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