Carl Bower

Private Fears
Location: Denver, Colorado
Nationality: United States
Biography: I'm a Denver-based editorial photographer whose work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. I like reportage when time allows, and portraits when it doesn't. I play nice with others and get things done.
Public Story
Private Fears

We are not defined by our fears, but I believe they cut to the core of our being in a way that most other feelings do not.

I spent several years struggling to extricate myself from a bad relationship and stalking that even extended to other countries. I had to get the police involved and file restraining orders and my mental and emotional life was a complete disaster. Yet I kept it hidden. I was too embarrassed to share my situation with anyone, afraid of what they would think, afraid of losing work. The longer it went on, the more ashamed of the situation I became, leading to further isolation. It made me wonder what others were hiding, what kept them awake, what they were afraid to tell anyone for fear of repercussions. I knew from experience how well a facade can be maintained, that we cannot trust what we see.

Our fears are held closely, and the experience of them is intensely personal and often isolating. I’ve asked complete strangers to share their fears and be photographed, an act of courage perhaps made easier because they did not know me. For some, the experience was cathartic. This series examines the dichotomy between our who we are and who we appear to be, of how little we know of those around us and what they carry.

By Carl Bower —


Chica Barbie

By Carl Bower / Colombia — The pageants of Colombia provide a distilled environment for examining the nature of beauty and how we cope..

Diane's Story

By Carl Bower / Washington, DC, USA — On a winter morning, Diane warmed herself in the steam of her shower. Sliding her fingers over her right..
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