that reveals deeper parts of the human
psyche and highlights the relationship
between what we see and what we imagine. Drawing on elements from consumer
culture, she uses digital technology to
create composite images that are as much
about photography as anything created
directly from a camera.
“With the whole idea of digital, noth-
Looking Back on a Life
ing exists until there’s a print,” she ex-
plains. With this new mantra in mind,
she layers hundreds of images of store-
fronts, window displays, fashion man-
nequins, self-portraits and constructed
sets, mixing and manipulating elements
to create images that challenge the idea
of a “single, solitary sense of self.”
At the center of this work is the way
Goldsmith uses the images to question
the validity of her own identity. She
appears in all of the images, her visage
transported onto faces of the various
mannequins she costumes and photo-
graphs. Thus tranformed, the Goldsmith-
faced mannequins straddle the line
between true and false identities, the
human and the plastic.
As a photo industry veteran, Goldsmith is
qualified to make bird’s-eye observations of
the current state of the business. According
to her, the shift from print to digital and
print media to the Internet has made becoming a photographer far more complicated.
Nowadays, the quality of photography
is exceptional, due in large part to great
photography schools, says Goldsmith. Yet,
because of a glut of good work and photographers that don’t understand the business,
the value of an image has gone down.
“So many people are just giving their pic-
tures away. It used to be the ones who gave
those pictures away weren’t very good,” she
says. “But now, unless the student decides
on a business plan, understands the cost of
starting a career—unless you’re really lucky,
you’re headed for disaster.”
Goldsmith continues to work, although
she doesn’t have to. At this point, she doesn’t
have the desire “to go through what one
must go through” to be a professional
photographer in today’s industry, but that
doesn’t mean she’ll ever stop working.
“Music and photography have been more
a part of my life than not. That’s what I do.
That’s who I am,” she says. “I think my life
is often like my photo shoots. You start out
with what you think is a direction, but you
have to be open to things that can happen
in the moment that change it. I work hard.
I have a lot of energy and have the good fortune to have people supportive of my work.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the
life I wanted and feel I still do.” EDU
Goldsmith’s recent series The Looking Glass starts with images of New York City window dressings.
“By removing objects from the windows and adding new elements, I aim to highlight the psychological relationship between what we see and what we imagine,” she explains. By incorporating self portraits into
these elaborate scenes, Goldsmith uses her face as a stage, offering different looks that undermine any
attempt to fix her image. For more on this work, watch this Hahnemuhle video in PDNedu’s digital edition
or view it online at < bit.ly/13U2gxL>.
CAMERAS: Nikon D4, Nikon D800
LENSES: AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 17-35mm
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR
LIGHTING: Nikon SB-910 AF Speedlight,
Profoto Acute B, Chimera so;boxes
COMPUTERS: Apple iMac and
EDITING SOFTWARE: Photo Mechanic 5,
Adobe Lightroom 5, Photoshop CS6
Lexar SD cards