foundation series

There is one relationship in a person’s life which is so fundamental, that it should always take priority: the relationship with ourselves. Before attempting to build any kind of relationship with others, we should first build a solid relationship with ourselves, because this is the foundation for how we live our lives. This is the simple truth behind “foundation”, a series of pictures aiming to explore how we relate to ourselves. Using myself as a model and with the use of symbolic and surrealistic elements, I have tried to create images that I hope speak to everyone. These images represent my thoughts and observations of myself and of the people that surround me.

I started this series almost two years ago, in early 2013. I had not planned to make a series, but when I realized that many of my photo ideas were revolving around the same theme, I decided to work more on it and produce a series of images. The whole experience has taught me many things. It has been exciting and helpful to work on variations of the same thing, but there were also times I found it to be quite restrictive. There were moments I thought the series might never be complete, because the relationship with someone’s self is actually a never ending subject. So, I realized that I would never be able to portray every single aspect of this relationship and I chose to focus on those aspects that strike me as the most important. Throughout the series I tried to evolve as a photographer while keeping my style consistent. It has been an adventure, which I have deeply enjoyed and its conclusion gives me the strength to move on to different projects.

The series was already featured on art websites before its completion. Many of the images have also appeared on web and print magazines and most of them have been displayed in various exhibitions in Greece.

Here I have included all the images created for the series, in the order in which they were published. By clicking each one, a new window will open, taking you to the corresponding blog post, in case you want to learn more.

misidentified
misidentified

The first multiplicity image I created. Planning beforehand helped in making this easy to compose. I also learned how to make fog in photoshop! This image has been published in the greek photography magazine “Fotografos”.

in between
in between

The second image of the series is quite simple but I like its symmetry and its mood. This is when I learned how to make a dress longer and a wall taller in photoshop.

condemnation
condemnation

For this I went to one of my city’s landmarks on a nice cloudy day, sneeked into one of the small towers and started posing on the very uneven ground, while passers by were walking their dogs, pausing a little to see what I was up to. This one took some work in post but the result was very rewarding.

narcissus - conceptual fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs
narcissus

I think this is the most popular image I ever made. Right now it has over 200.000 views on 500px  and it has been featured on various websites and blogs. Lately it was also published on “Fotografos” magazine. This was the time where I learned how to erase a face and also how to “steal” your friend’s mirror because you simply must have it.

house of mirrors
house of mirrors

For some reason this image brings Alice in Wonderland in mind, at least some darker version. Maybe it’s the blue dress? The hardest part in creating this image, was the mirror reflections. My fingers still ache from all the detailed masking around the mirror’s frame.

tug of war
tug of war

I have to admit, this is one my favorites! Shot with the help of my husband, who was making faces at the camera while holding the other side of the rope. I especially like how the sky (which I added later) fits the whole mood and concept so much!

unseen
unseen

This image was not planned, although the concept was already on my mind when I saw this piece of furniture and decided to climb on it. I only wish I could have expanded my frame a bit more.

escapology
escapology

The next addition to the series came nine months later, last July and sadly it was the first picture I shot in 2015! This was a really busy year I suppose. It is also the first picture I shot while being pregnant. Though I hadn’t gotten too big yet, which was helpful because I had to fake run many times to get it right.

dichotomy
dichotomy

This concept was the most difficult for me to visualize. When the idea finally came to me, I was unable to shoot it exactly the way I originally wanted, for safety reasons. But if you can’t use smokebombs to get the effect you want, the next best thing is smoke from an e-cigarette!

the encounter

The end of the journey, an encounter on an old bridge. I had to shoot myself seperately and then compose those shots on the bridge picture, because I was too pregnant at the time to be walking on old wooden bridges. So, up until the last image this image helped me learn a ton of new techniques!

All the images are available as limited edition, signed and numbered prints, on archival quality fine art paper. You can purchase directly from me or via the Saatchi online gallery.

The next few months will be dedicated to my little one, so no photography plans for me just yet. I suppose I will just see how it goes. I guess I will be more active on facebook from now on, so follow me if you haven’t already done so!

If you have managed to read all this, but even if you haven’t, it would mean a lot to me if you would drop me a line to let me know what you think!

Let me know what you think about this!