Ross School - Senior Project 2007-08

Student: Tabor Halsted

Mentor: Alexis Martino


Title: Expectations


“Expectations” is a series of images which explore “coming of age” and the eternal expectation of finding oneself. I created small narratives that use universal icons to translate common themes in adolescence. I used visual metaphors and self portraiture to describe my own journey. In creating this body of work I touched upon my own vulnerability and challenges in wanting to become the “ideal” young woman.

I also looked to fairytales and traditional myths to inspire the imagery. I made use of my own inner challenges both remembered and expected.  I interwove these concepts and ideas to complete the final sequence in using traditional black and white film to create a total of 32 toned gelatin silver prints.




When I first began my Senior Project at the end of my junior year, I knew for sure that I was going to be focusing the project from a photography point of view. I worked throughout the summer and took about fifteen rolls of film based on the over arching theme of coming of age. When I returned to school in the fall and processed the film both Alexis and I realized that my film was not specific enough, and I had only focused on one main subject, my younger sister. I soon began to build the connection between the coming of age and traditional fairytales. I began to think of ideas on how to link the two using the medium photography, but it became too literal. My first shoot in the fall was my “Peter Pan Shoot”, in which seemed to be very successful at the time. After processing that film however, again, it just wans’t what I was looking for. Initially I became very frustrated and just wanted to scratch the fairytales idea. After becoming frustrated and confused about what I wanted my final product to convey to my audience, I began shooting again. I was still very much hung up on the over arching theme of coming of age, but had no idea what to shoot without being too literal. I took a couple of weekends mapping out ideas without over thinking them, and just shooting them. I came to a conclusion that I would somehow, later figure out what I was trying to say through the images. As I shot more and more, it became clear to me that what I wanted initaly was becoming aparant in my film. I had shot many rolls of film by early November, and was happy with the results. It wasn’t until later that my mentor and I decided that triptics and doubles would be a possibility for my final product. I ended up actually doing triptics and doubles and I found that it worked out very well. My final product consisted of 32 toned silver gelatine images that I was proud of and that voiced the message what coming of age was about through my perspective. Though I had intended to scratch the fairytale stories, I had found that I could use thoes stories in a less literal stand point in using universal icons from some of the fairytales. Out of the 32 final images in which I used for my final product, 8 of the 32 images where related back to fairytales. I hadn’t planned on either fairytale untill I saw the actual film. The small props that had been used in thoes photographs had acctually opened up to becoming small metaphores for the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. Though in the beginning of fall I had not seemed happy with many of the images I had shot, I actually ended up using 5 of thoes images because they fit perfectly in my theme at the last minuet. I also used self porterature to reflect my own difficuties and challenges in which I had faced while growing up, and ended up using 9 of thoes images.

Past ideas that I had had for my Senior Project may not have been useful at the time, but soon became part of my final product. I believe that finding what I wanted to say through my work was the hardest part of the project because most of the time I felt sure that the message was unclear. My inspiration came from not only watching my younger sister drastically begin grow up over the last year, but also reflecting back on myself grow phisically and mentally. My final product touched many aspects and parts of my own life as well as what I had seen other young girls struggle with. This included vulnerability, struggle, tension, identity, beauty, love, and overall, self discovery.

Works Cited or Works Consulted

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Sabian. Viewed 17 Oct. 2007 <>.

Bernstein, Rita. "Portfolio 2." Photo Eye. 2008. Viewed Nov.-Dec 2007. <>.

Chambers, Tom. "Ex Votos." Photo Eye. 2008. Viewed Oct.-Nov 2007. <>.

Chambers, Tom. "Rite of Passage." Photo Eye. 2008. Viewed 19 Oct. 2007. <>.

Denton, Kay. “Leafsmoke.” Photo Eye. 2008. Sep.-Oct. 2007. <>.

McDonald, Anne A. Installations and Self Portraits. New York: Autonomy and Alchemy Press, 2003.

"Peter Pan." Ongoing Tales. Viewed 23 Oct. 2007 <>.

Rosenthal, Ken. “A Dream Half Remembered.” Photo Eye. 2008. Viewed Sep.-Nov. 2007. <>.

Community Member (Details)

I met with artist Paten Miller twice througout my project. He is a local artist. I worked with Paten when I was younger; I would go to his house and paint for hours. After giving up painting, it was then I learned that my real passion for photography had risen. Paten, though a painter, still knew where I was trying to come from in my photos. I don’t really think it matters what kind of artist you are as long as you have the “artist eye”, what Paten would convey on canvus, I conveyed on film and he very much understood that.