Gemma Raponi St Columban's College (Caboolture)
A Path to Self-Love Photograph
Six digital photographs in a series, photographs digitally manipulated through Adobe Photoshop


Body acceptance is a long and difficult journey. Going through the grieving process, I realised that the path to body acceptance is parallel to the stages of grief; denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. My photographs explore the stages of self-acceptance. The mirror and its reflection serve as a way of communicating the emotions of gradually learning to accept yourself. Metaphorically, the symbol of the flower is depicted to be more antagonistic; the one thing that we compare ourselves too, what society thinks we “should” look like. Coming to an understanding that this is normal is the path to self-love.


I positioned a mirror when composing each photograph to reflect the empty space of the sky. This helped me understand reflection; how to take photos in a mirror without seeing the camera, what angles to use, what the lighting should be and where to place myself. Each photograph displays a different posture and expression. The flowers are used as a motif except in the final photograph where its absence is a metaphor of self-acceptance. Once photographed, I experimented with filters and image adjustments in Photoshop to create changes in tone and lighting to capture the stages of acceptance.


Gemma Raponi

My intentions for when I finish school is to study fine arts. I am wanting to explore my options and pursue a career as a tattoo artist, along with exploring curating and illustration. What inspires me to create artwork is society, people and a state of mind. Culture is very important to me; this is due to having immigrant Italian family that has helped me embrace my heritage. What can people learn from art? I believe that people need to realise that art can be a statement, a story, a cultural tradition or all of above.