Dreamlike Photos Examine Mental Health and Perceptions of Reality

Good Encounters (Korea)

The exploration of dreams, thoughts and possibilities is the hallmark of conceptual self-portrait photographer Fares Micue. The hypnotic and otherworldly concepts presented in each of his shots not only captivate the eye, but spark a kind of whimsical intrigue in the story behind the images.

What started as a hobby in 2009 to get some great profile pictures for social media has subtly morphed into an ambitious journey fueled by passion to capture and examine sanity and perceptions of reality.

woman with hidden face and black background holding bird of paradise flower
closer to heaven (Spain)
Woman entering a large forest with an orange tree around her
Energy Expansion (Korea)

“I periodically review my feelings and reactions to different situations I encounter to find their origin and solve any problems before they get worse. I think it’s very important to have a deep understanding of our own minds and never overlook our mental health and our feelings in order to identify and address any potential imbalances,” Micue said, speaking to PetaPixel.

woman entering the bush of purple flowers
Magical bliss (Korea)
Woman at a bus stop with bright blue balloons flying overhead
The magic bus stop (Spain)

The beautiful, self-taught artist is currently based in the Canary Islands in Spain and recently took a trip to Korea (a place, in the past, that has been an inspiration to the artist) and decided to examine her free space. and its natural environment there.

“I always experience a deep sense of peace, calm and renewed energy when I visit there and that’s what I wanted to express, share and highlight in these shots, the importance of living in symbiosis with nature and to find places that [match] much of our unique energy and vibrations […and] to find inner peace,” says Micue.

Woman reaching up to the sky, towards bright blue balloons
Irrational Attachments (Korea)
woman in wide brown landscape with bright red balloons covering her face and flying overhead
The Good Company (Spain)

Infused into each image is a sweet mix of Mucue backdrops and props that include raw organic materials such as flowers and branches and inorganic materials such as balloons or origami. Micue also joins in on this with striking and expressive physical movements, while still hiding her face. An intentional act to provoke a more open interpretation of its imagery while stirring up the mystery of the emotional states of being.

This unique conceptual style invites audiences to venture with Micue into vast forests, “fall” from mountaintops, or simply pause, reflect, and prioritize their sanity.

woman falling backwards and paper cranes flying overhead
Confidence and wings will grow (Spain)
Woman with blue ivy and red flowers
Anchored passion (Korea)

The Canon 5D Mark IV is Micue’s go-to gear for building stories and making dreams come true. But all this effort to express the internal materials means she has to keep the external materials to a minimum.

“I like to be simple with my gear, especially if I’m traveling and will be visiting different places at once. […my Canon] is a good professional camera, but still quite light and therefore easy to carry around and since then I have been doing self-portraits. I can’t [leave out] my tripod (nothing fancy, just sturdy enough to hold my camera in place) and of course my remote, and I’m ready to create!”

woman with white skirt and black top facing a black wooden background with paper cranes floating in a circle above
Magic will always follow (Korea)

With a little tweaking in Photoshop, Micue is also able to indulge more in the quaint aspects of her shots.

“Photoshop has been my editing program since I started my practice, like I said before, I like to keep my practice as simple as possible and Photoshop allows me to create my vision without too much hassle,” says Micue.

woman with plain black background and afro blue flower
Ideal vision (Korea)
Woman with sold blackground in yellow dress and yellow flowers
Night Promises (Korea)

An unfamiliar environment can present its own set of challenges, but nothing that Micue sees as positive opportunities for creative storytelling.

“I think the hardest part of shooting in new environments is that you don’t have complete control of the elements and know exactly what you’ll find, especially in nature where things can change in seconds. , on these occasions your experience, creativity and ability to adapt and think quickly become essential to get the most out of the place.”

woman with pink flowers and teal bush
Dangerous Love (Korea)
Woman with plain black background and afro flower
My Mind, My Shelter (Korea)

Hitting creative walls plagues many artists, so when they seek inspiration or feel like taking risks in their photography, Micue emphasizes the need to feel liberated to encourage photography.

“I […] say the freedom and the importance of seeking places that match your energy in order to become the best version of yourself, the environment can have a very profound impact on our mental state and therefore on our actions, our levels of motivation , our thoughts, our energy and our balance in general , even if it is only your house, make it motivating, inspiring and energetic and you will soon feel the benefits. I want to remind people to take time for themselves and dive deep into their feelings, goals, and motivations in life. Micue adds.

Woman in yellow dress floating in a pond
The Beauty of Freedom (Korea)
Woman and a single bright orange tree
Where We Belong (Korea)

“My advice is to find your voice, your message, and what drives you to create…”

Lately, Micue has been exploring mixed media pieces, tinkering with new materials and props, and is thrilled to take audiences on new journeys of introspection and positive self-care.

For more from Micue, be sure to follow her on Instagram.

Picture credits: Micue Pricing

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