Michele Bisaillon likes to play with mirrors and reflections to portray her herself. With more than 60 mirrors, she playfully shares her fragmented world where the invisible becomes visible. When she doesn’t take photos of herself, the young photographer based in Silicon Valley captures her faithful companion: her cat Peach. We talked to Michele about her fascination for mirrors and self-reflection in the most literal sense.
Lola Who: How did you start taking photos and incorporating mirrors into your work?
Michele: I’ve enjoyed taking photos since I was really young. I started taking it more seriously after I got out of college. That was also when I started using mirrors. I grew up really interested in cinematography and I always noticed how filmmakers used mirrors to create different effects in their shots. Mirrors are so important in our daily lives but they’re so commonplace now we often take them for granted.
Lola Who: How many mirrors do you own?
Michele: Probably like 60 or 70!
Lola Who: Mirror Mirror on the wall
What is the significance of it all?
Michele: I want to remind people that there is so much more to reality than our own single perspective. Mirrors are a very physical and visual way of bringing that idea to life.
Lola Who: The mirror is a symbol of reflection. What do you wish to reflect about yourself?
Michele: The idea is really to reflect on myself. In this world it’s difficult to figure out who you are. I spend a lot of time reflecting on the person I want to be. I’m still not totally sure.
I spend a lot of time reflecting on the person I want to be.
Lola Who: Are your mirror photos all self-portrait, or do you also take photos of other girls?
Most of my photos are of me. There are some photos that include other people’s hands but I’m too uncomfortable to ask people to model their bodies for me. I feel like it takes too much time and it’s so personal. I hope to get over that soon though.
Lola Who: Is taking selfies changing the way that you see yourself?
Michele: I would say it has changed how I see myself in some ways. I’ve always seen myself as someone who is multi-faceted and I try to show that when I take photos of myself. Throughout my life I’ve always been sort of confused and unsure of myself. I think expressing myself creatively has actually helped me identify myself better, so I would say I actually might feel less fragmented than I used to.
Lola Who: What inspired your universe?
Michele: I’m heavily inspired by the natural world. Everything is so fleeting, nothing lasts very long. Taking photos is a way of making time slow down a little bit for me. As far as artists go, my greatest artistic inspiration is probably Prince.
Taking photos is a way of making time slow down a little bit for me.
Lola Who: How many mirrors have you broken and do you believe that breaking a mirror will cause seven years of bad luck?
Michele: I’ve broken quite a few, probably around 10 or 12. I feel like my luck has held up so far!
By Helene R. Hidalgo