Namesake by Amanda Liew

Amanda - Project 2 Namesake

“Namesake” by Amanda Liew
We each have our own struggles,
and mine is with love.
For years, the lies I told myself have consumed me:
You don’t deserve it
You won’t ever have it
You aren’t worth it
You aren’t worth it
You aren’t worth it
You’ll never be worth it.
There was a cry to God,
One from the depths of my heart.
And suddenly
He made me remember:
Worthy of love.”
A literal translation.
A declaration.
A title.
A namesake chosen before my birth to battle my greatest fear.
A promise I can never run from.
You are worth it
You are worth it
You are worth it
You’ll always be worth it.

For our second project, our photographers tackled self-portraits. The differences and similarities in our final submissions speak in ways we did not expect. We are excited to share our self-portraits with you week by week.


Fernando: My first reaction to seeing this picture was: “what?” It took me a moment to put the parts together, to really look into your picture, to assimilate the poem into the equation. Your project goes beyond being a simply photographic one, and I love it for that. The picture is all about the undertones: the emotion that comes through when you really start looking into it, the phrase “worthy of love” barely showing discreetly written over the image, the tension that your hand, blurry and bright, adds to it, etc. If I were to make any suggestions of improvement, it would be to set your light source a little higher, so that the shadows of your face are pointed down, toward your hand. Like that, the viewer’s eyes would move from the brighter side of your face all the way toward your hand, and then follow your fingers back into the image more smoothly – that’s a really minor thing, though.

Horn: First, it’s a self portrait. We have a good point of view of your face. It’s the first things that i want to see when talk about “selfportrait”. Your eyes tell an emotion, a story. This story, you right them in the back of your picture.Maybe it’s the story of your life, or another.  It’s a very good idea !  Your hand calls the viewer like “discover my throughts”. However, i think the use of black and white is a good choise but colors reflect a happy life.

Jessica: There are so many layers of depth, both visually and metaphorically, in your self portrait. I love it! It speaks to me with a sense of vulnerability and strength, which is so appealing and earnest that you draw me right in. I can’t help but identify and sympathize with you and your struggles. If you were in a movie, you would be that character that everyone loved and cried over.

Maya: Amanda — I really value the thought process that was behind your project. I think it’s a really powerful message, and a concern that many people struggle, myself included. I liked the way that this was conveyed — we seem to have had similar ideas with the black and white, and the overlay of other images! I like the focus on your face, and can only suggest two things; both are purely preference though. Perhaps there could be a bit more contrast in the image? And I wonder what it would look like if the words were darker or confined to your neck, hand and face.

Beatrice: You look gorgeous in this shot! The message you are trying to convey is something many people can relate to and is so inspiring. I also really like the lighting – the softness of the light in a seemingly dark room. The layer of words over your shot adds an interesting detail, but I think it would be even more interesting if the words were something that weren’t exactly “worthy of love”, but maybe something that implied it, or maybe like reasons why you are worthy of love. Just a thought, but still very beautiful nonetheless!

Stephen: Amanda, I really enjoyed your piece! The strength behind you photo is outstanding – I can sense the struggle and desire to overcome this fear of love.The lighting is well balanced and highlights you perfectly – and you hand is just out of focus that it hides nicely in the foreground, providing real depth to your photo. The faint Namesake writing pasted above reminded me of Jack Torrence’s character in The Shining “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” – it adds a slight insanity (which I like) to some of our insecurities in life! Overall a very personal piece – embracing in full terms the self portrait! Fantastique! ( I can’t find fault)’

We welcome all of our readers to provide constructive critique to our photographers in the comments section below!


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