Outside and Between the Binary

PhotographerChloe Aftel
PrizePortraiture / Culture
Entry Description

Initially SF Magazine commissioned a portrait of Sasha, who identifies as agender and uses the pronoun they, was set on fire on a public bus while wearing both men's and women's clothing. The magazine then decided to do a photo series exploring the many people living outside and in between the gender binary. Some had altered their bodies and taken hormones, some have not, but all refuse to define themselves as strictly male or female. All the images were taken in their homes or places special to the subjects, it is a visual exploration of each individual, how they live and who they are.

About Photographer

I began film school five years ago with the hope of creating new worlds filled with beauty and emotion through the medium of moving pictures. My education showed me that the insight and control I sought was not possible in large-scale movie-making. During my free time in school, however, I decided to experiment with staging still photos that told the types of dramatic stories I envisioned. In the process, I taught myself to shoot, light, compose, and print my own images. My work initially consisted of one-frame movie stills, but after I graduated film school, I evolved into less production design-heavy, but still highly evocative, scenes with a strong narrative. I pursued a still photography career with all my energy and ambition, working any day job I could until I had enough clients to go free-lance full-time. I prefer to shoot with Polaroid film. With each shot and each subject, I strive to capture an effortless sensuality and intimacy, focusing on the precise moment the image took place.