“I am not my eating disorder.” “I am not my anxiety.” “I am not my addiction.”
Everyone has something they battle with. Skeletons within our closets are always lurking in the shadows, trying to make us fail. Insecurities, depression, self-doubts and fears are part of the human mind. They will get the to the worst of us.
In a new project created by Steve Rosenfield, the California resident exposes his subjects insecurities through a lens. By looking straight into the camera with dark words and phrases written on their faces or hands, the pictures give a lesson of assertion regarding diversity and acceptance within society.
The name “What I Be” originally came from a song written by Michael Franti and Spearhead, who Rosenfield saw in concert while visiting Canada. Soon after the show, the two became friends when Rosenfield asked to photograph the group for his project.
Along with Franti, Rosenfield has shot other celebrities for the project including Joss Stone, Norah Jones, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
However, “What I Be” is nowhere near completion. In an email interview with the photographer, Rosenfield said that he would love to one-day work with Eminem, Ellie Goulding, Shakira and Lady Gaga.
But aside from his celebrity portraits, he visits colleges around the country to find students trying to escape from their insecurities through photography.
“What I Be is in full force right now and there’s a lot of things in the works,” he said.
“We’re currently trying to take the project global.”
With capturing the sensitive and emotional sides of people, Rosenfield is also planning on releasing a “What I Be” book and a music tour.
“My vision for the project is to show as many people as possible that it’s okay to be ourselves, just the way we are,” the photographer said.
“We don’t have to be ashamed of our stuff, and if we are, don’t let it control our whole being. There are so many people out there that can relate to any given issue. It’s all about creating a community of compassion and conscious people.”The project was founded in 2010 and after hundreds of different portraits, it has gained respect for its innovative and positive approach to dealing with insecurities.
“None of us are alone. We all can relate to someone else and don’t ever hesitate to do just that,” he said. “You get back what you put in.”

Check out his site: www.whatibeproject.com or follow him on Twitter @sjrosenfield

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