Handle with Care

Updated: May 5

Self-portrait of me surrounded by bubble wrap and plastic for my "Handle With Care" series.
"Handle with Care" by Alexis Elliott © 2021

In the last month and a half, my life has undergone some enormous changes. From leaving my relationship of 6 years to living by myself for the first time and having a long-time client contract end, a lot has been going on.

This upheaval made me feel fragile. Suddenly, I was left alone to confront my own inner thoughts—both the positive and the negative. Still, it's been an exciting time for me creatively.

Now, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and I've been getting flooded with inspiration. One surprising source of inspiration came from leftover packing materials from moving and getting new furniture.

There were so many different shapes and textures that I had just lying around. Sheets of soft styrofoam, yards of bubble wrap, boxes, and random pieces of cardboard came in all sizes. I thought these fragments would be perfect for some pictures.

This idea of "Handle with Care" immediately came to my mind. Given everything I've been going through and the thing I want to work on, I thought this would be fitting. Like I said, I've felt fragile, especially when it comes to relationships.

This series sends the message of my fragile and sensitive mental state, and how I feel I need to approach relationships and life—and how people approach me—in the future.

To create this series, I took some of the bubble wrap and plastic to use for my background and basically wrapped myself in whatever materials I had. I arranged everything in the mirror first before running to my camera to quickly hit the shutter and pose before the timer ran out.

These were my camera settings:

Focal Distance: 35 mm

ISO: 3200

F-stop: f/29

Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec

I also did a little editing in Photoshop to give the pictures the blueish hue that I created. Here's a before and after so you can see the transformation.

I really loved how the shine of the plastic added different shades of blue and created more contrast. The blue color also feels cold and a little delicate, which adds to the message of emotional fragility.

Check out the complete series below.

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