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Are you entirely happy with the image you see in the mirror? Wouldn’t you change a little bit here or there? We all have physical characteristics that we do not like much, even if we are not conscious about these. But what would we change about ourselves if no one, not even our consciousness was looking? That is the question asked by photographer Scott Chasserot in his Original/Ideal project.Original Ideal combines portrait photography and neuroscience to isolate the subjects’ ideal self image, the most sincere preference, obtained directly from the subjects’ brainwaves with the help of an Emotiv EPOC headset.

The subjects were photographed bare-faced and without decoration, and later, while attached to the EPOC brain scanner, they were presented with versions of their own manipulated portrait, in order to determine which version they prefer. The original portrait was manipulated dozens of times and different features were changed to either fall in line with or go against traditional notions of beauty.

This provided accurate data showing which version of themselves each person found most ideal. The results are presented in a series of images, with the image on the left showing the person’s original self and the image on the right their ideal self.

Project page:

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