Sara Swaty

In Between & Outside II
Location: Los Angeles
Nationality: American
Biography: Sara Swaty is a Los Angeles based people and portrait photographer with a BFA in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work explores identity, gender, and disability. At the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2015, Sara was awarded the... read on

The idea of gender and its associated roles, responsibilities, and expectations has fascinated me for years. Mainstream culture and society impact how we as a people view gender.  Where we live and how we are raised dictates our own perceptions of gender, and what is ‘normal’ or ’weird’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’

In Between & Outside began as a project focused on gender expression, which led me to photograph people within both straight and LGBT communities in an effort to capture images that question traditional gender roles and explore alternative identities beyond the rigid male-female binary.  Over time, I realized that this project was more than documenting individuals’ pursuit for their ideal visions of masculinity, femininity, or somwehere in between—it became a place to explore identity, self-conception, and how these roles are altered within societal and cultural contexts.

In Between & Outside explores gender identity and the physical body across a broad spectrum of individuals, whether they be gay, straight, transgender, or anywhere in between and outside, by referencing how cultural preconceptions about gender have created unattainable ideals about masculinity and femininity. 

What does it mean to be masculine or feminine? To be a man or a woman?


Also by Sara Swaty —


Fragments of Ferguson

By Sara Swaty / St. Louis, MO — Fragments of Ferguson  A series of individual stories told in pictures and words, exploring the real..

Hayley to Harrison

By Sara Swaty / St. Louis, Missouri — See the Reuters story here . When we first met at a St. Louis high school in 2006, Harrison was still..

Hayley to Harrison: One Year

By Sara Swaty / Saint Louis — Hayley to  Harrison : In Transition   Harrison  was still Hayley when we first met in a St...


By Sara Swaty — # handadventures is a long term visual diary that explores light, color, and gesture.   The hand acts..


By Sara Swaty / Saint Louis — I lie on the table that I haven't rested my head on for many years, the familiar smell of rubbing alcohol..
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