Becoming Mel: A Juxtaposition of Portraits After Waking Up and Getting Ready for the World

by . December 28th, 2014

Everyone has a morning routine. I for one wake up at 4am, read photography and design articles while having coffee. After that I prepare for work. For one month, Chicago photographer-Mel Keiser its taking two self portraits. The first one is after waking up as she battles the sleepiness. She then prepares herself for the day afterwards takes another self portrait. Mel then compiled these self-portraits of her to create the series: Becoming Mel.


Becoming Mel begs the question of who we are. Keiser tells Feature Shoot that the first picture is immediately taken upon waking up. This is before she has any mental concept of herself. The second portrait is more of the what she believes to be what the Mel is like. This is the Mel after getting dressed and ready for the world. The juxtaposition of Mel’s self-portraits creates these comparison between the after-waking-up-Mel and the ready-for-the-world-Mel. With all the recent talk about identity, Becoming Mel poses interesting questions. Questions about identity and why we create these various identities just to fit in.



Inspired by the recent advancements in understanding the human mind. Becoming Mel is an intelligent and enjoyable series. By observing her self-portraits side by side the series piques the viewer’s interest. It is fun to try and think what kind of Mel Keiser is on the second photo. Is it a Mel who will go out and see friends? Or is it a Mel who is going to go for an important job interview. It is interesting to see how we humans try to create various these identities. For us to fit into these various situations for our day to day living.

What do you folks think? Tell us at the comments below! Find out more about the Becoming Mel series here, don’t forget to check out more of Mel Keiser’s work on her website.


Patrick Jude Ilagan is a graphic designer/photographer hailing from the vast jungles of urban Manila. Always on the look out for visually appealing stuff he scours the internet and the bustling city in search of inspiration. His tools for mass creation is a Canon 500D along with a wide array of lights and lenses plus a 4 year old (but still fighting) laptop. Check out his work on Tumblr.

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