Photography Meets Neurology. Does Your Brain Prefer the Retouched Version of You?

Scott Chasserot

What do you see when you look in the mirror or at a photograph of yourself? What do you hope to see? Why did you untag one picture but keep another?

Photographer Scott Chasserot set out to explore how subconscious ideals influence what we see as our “ideal” self in his photo series and documentary project “Original ideal”.

The project is a combination of photography, photo-manipulation software, neurology and human psychology. Chasserot photographed a diverse series of subjects of all ages that possessed what he deemed “facially interesting” or had “interesting” stories. He then made over 50 versions of each portrait using Photoshop. The subjects were then hooked up to an Emotiv brain scanner and presented with each portrait. The scanner monitored each subject’s reaction to seeing each portrait in order to determine which portrait they preferred the most.

The original image and the chosen according to information from the Emotiv scanner can be viewed at “Original Ideal” and in the video below. You can see that the side-by-side images reflect a variety of visions on idealized beauty. Some subjects preferred the images that looked the most different from their original portrait, others preferred images with only slight tweaks.

Original Ideal from sebastiancabrera on Vimeo.