Behind the Photo: Michael Jean

We all struggle with our inner demons.
Some more than most.
For me, they never seem to rest, which is a constant battle.

The story behind this photo is to show the struggle between your inner demon vs. your pure
self.

It’s the battle between doing what you want vs. the little voice inside your head that
continuously keeps you down.
That voice that tells you you’re not good enough, even in your most vulnerable moments.
I believe this photo tells a different story for each person, which is even better in my opinion.
It opens a door on a reflection of ourselves that is so hard to explain in words.

It also conveys a message of “not everything is always what it seems.” Such as realizing that
although someone may look like they are doing fine, they actually may be going through their
own inner struggles that we can’t see.

I came up with the inspiration from one of my favorite photographers on Instagram, Rosie
Hardy. In one of her photos she used a hand shadow to convey a puppeteer idea which then
gave me an idea to take it further and create the concept of your own shadow turning against
you. I believed people would resonate with a figure of a demon more than just a regular
monstrous shadow.

When it came to editing this photo, it actually only took a few simple steps, compared to my
other photos that require a million shots that I have to layer in Photoshop.

To create this shot, I took two photos in the same area which was the demon shadow first and
then the innocent girl shot next.

Once I had those two photos I put them into Photoshop and layered them right on top of one
another and then just masked out the areas I didn’t need. After I created the composition I
wanted, I then sent it over to Lightroom to edit the colors as well as add any other shadows to
finish the piece.

I believe everyone deals with their own inner demons a certain way.
I guess what I want people to get out of this message and idea is that they’re not alone and to
fight past it.
You will always be your own worst enemy and sabotage.
Use it as motivation to become a better artist, photographer, person, etc.
Don’t let your worst self consume you.

Michael Jean

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