Managed Expressions and Self-Preservation is a series of self portraits, using household items to distort and obscure my features and expressions. 

The series was made in the midst of heartbreak. I had just moved to Paris for work, where I was attempting to develop new relationships. I didn’t want to be a mope. But Paris is where I fell in love with my ex. Going through all of that alone, in a new city, was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I felt raw and incredibly vulnerable. I grieved, mostly, in private. And sometimes wore a mask (literally) when I left the house. At times, my expressions were forced; doing everything I could to hide my pain.

That’s what inspired this series. I grew tired of grieving alone, with no resolve. And I hate letting things go to waste (especially feelings). So I would rip something out of a drawer (tape, foil, etc.), sit in front of the camera, and just go through it.

A strange form of therapy, I suppose. But I believe that every experience is meant to teach us something. And I do my best to make the best out of anything. This was my attempt to turn pain into something beautiful (or somewhere closer to it). 

Captured in this series is an experience that helped me grow, overcome, and stay preserved in a moment of time.

I hope you enjoy.

Shawn Pyfrom


*MANAGED EXPRESSIONS AND SELF PRESERVATION can be viewed in the "WORK" section of the top menu.