It's Friday night. Think about the way you look right after you got ready to go out for the evening and compare that to what you looked like when you first woke up. For most of us, at least a few major differences would come to mind.
In a photography series titled 7AM/7PM, Belgian photographer Barbara Iweins decided to show off these difference. Portraits of the same person at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. are laid side by side against a black background. The mesmerizing portraits looked at together reveal so much more about the subjects than looking at each one individually.
7AM/7PM is part of a larger project of Iweins titled Au Coin de ma Rue, or "At the Corner of My Street," where she enters the intimacy of strangers that she meets on the street. Over a five-year period, Iweins photographed the same 21 strangers each year with a different theme. 7AM/7PM was during the fourth year, and is only a single part of the incredible project. But it might just be the most fascinating because of the striking difference between the two photos.
"Because of social networks, increasing of cameras in daily life, selfies … with the years I realized everyone became more used to posing. Persons have a better knowledge of their image. When I was asking them 5 years ago to pose for me in the street, there was a shy look, a bended leg, they were trying to hide behind their bag or something. Now this innocence is fading away. But I am searching for this vulnerability. I don't want the controlled perfect image," Iweins wrote on her website. "Therefore, I need to place them in a more vulnerable position."
So, she decided to ask strangers to spend a night with her, either at her place or theirs. She'd photograph them at 7 p.m. and then she'd wake them up at 7 a.m. to take a second photograph.
"I felt that the only moment of the day when a person doesn’t have any shield is the moment a person opens his eyes for the first time. I always adored this 'fighting' moment when our conscious gets out of the irreality of dreams to face reality. Just the moment before the world hurts us," Iweins wrote. "The experience of taking these early portraits has been amazing."
Iweins notes that she initially thought that she'd have a good 20 minutes to get the perfect shot of the expression of a person just waking up. However, she soon realized that people are able to compose themselves in as little as five minutes.
"Behind my camera I could really see in a matter of second that the person was taking his face, his body back in control. The vulnerable human being was gone," she wrote.
You can see some of the photos from her project below: