Character Photo Essay

Tori LeRoy

"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far."

-Swami Vivekananda


In a world where homework is rampant and comes in stacks taller than the mountain we climbed that day (reference pic 3), it was either THIS or my desk. AND, the residence of homework, seemed to be a PRETTY lame choice. Decisions aside, I chose pictures that I felt represented motion and beauty. I have a huge respect for the human life, and these pictures represent how I view the world around me: Perpetually interacting/ involved with itself. Waiting to be found. A beautiful landscape, a horse, and a path: each significant in its own right. The lakeside view declares how remarkable this world is. The horse represents opportunity, capability to enjoy the beauty of the first picture. And, the path signifies exploration, a reminder that we can always go deeper.


I too am a functional piece. The machine requires various nuts, bolts, sheets of metal, and I am a gear in that machine. Although our generation would like to assume it, we are NOT "god's gift to the world"; however, as a collective body we are pushing forward onto magnificent endeavors. The machine is advancing. The machine is a unity of different parts, all come together to perform , to produce, to create.

Note: I am not a cynical person or communist (the two words are not synonymous either). I simply mean to say that I recognize that we are all human, all existing in the same likeness, and that it is an incredible thing that although we are not ourselves that special, we can transcend from our ancestors and "create". The gear is symbolic of me because it is an ambition of mine to support whatever is moving us forward. I desire the greater good and I believe (specifically with science) that we are truly going places.

This Character photo essay would also not be complete if I didn't mention that, like we often picture gears turning in our minds, I am quite the overthinker/analytical individual.


This is a photo from when my cousin and I had gone to Burke's outlets down in Hillsborro. We tried on an assortment of crazy things and I am Vogue's top model on the right rocking the size 2000 pajama feeling trousers. The tone word I chose to highlight my "character" was "lighthearted". When it is the proper time, I can be very serious. But, once "the students" are let out of the dark, dreary, box that is education (that I do appreciate very much) some of us go a little wild. Life is not ALL "fun and games", but I try to keep things positive and entertaining.

Outer Character

"Tori is my pumpkin! As I take the time to think of words to describe this soft spoken, tenderhearted, compassionate and smart child of mine... I can't help but smile. I remember in 5th grade, her telling me she had to use her mouse voice when she tried to speak up in class. She really has a lot of good things to say. I would say she is motivated by her tenderhearted compassion for any friend in need and she always goes to great lengths to find justice where she can make a difference. Tori has the ability to dream big and set out goals to accomplish her quest. She may have to study hard but she is not one to give up easily. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and that is because of her heart!!!"

P.s. Can you tell my mom wrote this?

Inner Character

3 years ago, out of boredom, I began a series of collages focused on the concept of "happiness". I usually finish them with steel wool and shoe polish, but I left this one raw. The idea is to get a magazine, cut out/rip out anything that has significance to you and strikes you as part of either your "happy place", a perfect memory, favorite food, season, animal, male model, etc. and put them together in a sort of collage. The first time I did it, I was alone. Then, each time after I did it with a different person.

This reveals, at least to an extent, the creative and insightful nature of my inner person.

The End!