I would like to offer for your consideration my series titled “From external to inner beauty”, consisting of four photographs. I believe that this series reflects my views on reality through a prism of working as a street photography artist, as well as a psychotherapist. This series is inspired by my personal observations, discussions, doubts, thoughts, and ongoing debates about the self-perception by contemporary women in the 21st century, existing social pressure, and attempts to place a “value” on women based on their external looks rather than internal beauty. How many of us are still being concerned about our external looks and believe that being “pretty and attractive” could lead to love and happiness? I describe this illusion by my “The Peacock Queen” photograph. The Peacock Queen is bathing in generous beams of light and admiration, people are longing for her. She is the “greatest” right now. However, how many of her admirers really would like to get to know her inner world and listen to her thoughts and life views? The answer is probably, there are not so many, if not none at all.
Anticipating this sad fact, so many of us are still living for the show that “must go on”, longing for success and coveting for a perfect external image. My second photograph “Life is a Stage” is capturing this belief. People, who ache for an unattainable perfect image, committedly perform their own shows in their “theatres of life” on a daily basis. But what they don’t realise is that with every breath they take they are moving even further away from their true inner self, hiding true feelings and emotions behind the stage curtains.
Are we brave enough to show ourselves, with all our fears, weaknesses, dark secrets and sides? Maybe. Sometimes we dream about an ideal partner who would love us, accept us just the way we are, so we can finally show ourselves. This state of mind is captured by a photograph “The Sleeping Beauty”. “The Sleeping Beauty” was supposed to be awakened by the love of a beautiful Prince. It is an old fairy-tale but there are still so many women in this world who believe that their value is being defined by both the external beauty and love of a man. Believing so, they are condemned to compete and crave for external love.
Every human has a unique spirit and is a limitless universe. Every woman should discover her incredible value by connecting the internal world with spiritual forces. By doing so, she will discover her true inner beauty that is independent of her looks, and her inner love that is healing, empowering, and awakening. “Awakening your Spirit” is my last photograph in the series that depicts this statement
Elena Alexandra was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She studied Political Science, Psychology, and Arts in Germany and Spain. Trained as a classical painter, she discovered her passion for street photography while working as a newspaper reporter in Madrid. Since then, she has captured street scenes of her daily life and life in South America, whilst travelling. Her inspiration is driven by her natural curiosity about people, spontaneous dynamics of social or personal life, as well as from her admiration for bold colours and light. Known as @bloomsofmind on Instagram, Elena is a member of a @fromstreetswithlove street photography collective. In June 2019, she was part of the "Two Way Street" exhibition in San Francisco, curated by Julia Coddington, Rebecca Wiltshire, and Casey Meshbesher from @womeninstreet. Besides Elena´s dedication to street photography, she is working as a mental health researcher and a psychotherapist, practising humanistic psychology approach "Logotherapy and Existentialism" by Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychotherapist and the Holocaust survivor. In her counselling work, she combines visual and introspective approaches, using photography as a means of expression. Together with her three years old son Leonard, she is currently living in Hamburg, Germany.