When you first see these photos by Swedish photographer Moa Karlberg you get this immediate connection to the subject. There’s something in their eyes that’s really piercing, like their gaze is concentrated directly at you. Funny enough, these people are actually staring at themselves. What Ms. Kalberg has done is taken these portraits from behind a two-way mirror, the people in the photos have no idea that their photo has been taken. Here’s what she has to say about the project:
“Since the pictures are taken in public spaces, I can publish them however I want to. At least in Sweden, where the laws are generous to journalists and artists. But in which forums and publications does the single individual feel insulted? Watching you watch me is an effort to create a debate on the laws and ethics within the photographer’s role.”
What I personally take away from these is the fragile moment where a person let’s down their guard. When you look into a mirror you’re analyzing your own appearance in a fraction of a second, considering intimate details about yourself that no one else will likely ever notice. In each person’s face you can see this anxious look, a look I can only describe as being human.
P.S. If you speak Swedish be sure to check out this short piece where she speaks about these photos. No idea what it says, but it might be interesting.