Cynthia Morris Sherman, or Cindy Sherman, is a photographer and filmmaker who was born in 1954. At 63 years of age, she is still alive and taking pictures.
Sherman turns the camera on herself and uses herself as a vehicle to convey certain messages and ideas about the role of women in society. Although they pictures are of her, they are not technically self-portraits. She is simply acting as both the model and the photographer in her pictures.
Sherman often plays characters in her work, which is why none of her pictures are really self-portraits. For a portrait to exist, one has to be taking a picture of a person with the actual intent of capturing that person and their persona. In Sherman's work, this simply does not exist, as she dresses up in costumes and wigs, becoming a new person in each picture.
Sherman hasn't really ever worked for a specific company or magazine, mainly doing her own photo projects and then displaying them in galleries and other various places. Although, she did do a centerfold piece for Artforum magazine that was ultimately rejected because the editor didn't want people to get the wrong idea.
The lighting of Sherman's photos . varies wildly from each collection. Some of them seem to be using natural lights, like when the light from a window creates shadows over her body, but then there is an entire collection with a dark and grungy mood that is shot in eerie greens and blues and reds, used to make the picture seem almost more nightmare-like. Sherman definitely uses light to her advantage in her collections, with the light reflecting the mood and ideas that Sherman is trying to capture.
Unlike many photographers and artists in general, Sherman had not always been artistic. Her early life was rather devoid of art, what with her parents not being very artistic. Sherman didn't know much about art, and her parents only owned one book on art that had 100 "best" paintings in it, with artists like Dali and Picasso in it. She went to art school anyway, though, and her parents were supportive. Sherman had actually enrolled in painting, but when she got frustrated with it and felt like she could not truly convey what she wanted to, she switched to photography, and the rest was history.
I really like Sherman's photography and the way that she uses herself to convey the messages that she has. I feel like I have found a new way to explore photography, and it might be more effective and efficient, because it is oftentimes hard to describe to a model exactly what you are picturing in your head. It is always a good thing to invest in a nice tripod, but I think it would be good for photographers to try stepping in front of it every once in a while rather than always hiding behind it.