The Marks Left Behind

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

With an interest in photography and a passion for storytelling, freelance commercial photographer Tamara Lawrence has created a series of self-portraits using her Canon 750D to shed some light on toxic relationships and unspoken truths.

Tamara, who studied photography at A-Level and now has a BA (Hons) in Photography, says that the aim of this series is to "create awareness of toxic relationships which may seem completely happy to outsiders."

Getting her first camera at eight years old, Tamara - who goes by @tamarabreezephotos on Instagram - loves to create meaningful photographs, usually inspired by climate change.

Inspired by a book based on a woman meeting her ideal man, Tamara thought about "how sugar-coated this is and how many go through failed relationships first."

She decided to use quotes from the book within her photo series to bring attention to how relationships can look 'perfect' to other people but in reality be dangerous and "toxic".

"It's important to recognise personal struggles and how we are never truly aware of what someone is going through."

Tamara believes it's especially important to highlight these issues during the pandemic due to the increase in domestic violence.

According to an investigation by the BBC's Panorama, during the pandemic, two-thirds of women in abusive relationships have suffered more violence from their partners.

The investigation also discovered that three-quarters of victims also revealed that the lockdown has made it increasingly harder to escape their abusers.

In the first seven weeks of the pandemic, police reported that they received on domestic abuse-related call every 30 seconds.

In order to further illustrate the "vulnerability and fragility of women (and men)", Tamara gave the photos a soft focus by placing lace over her 50mm lens.

"I wanted people to realise abuse doesn’t always have to be physical and it’s important to be aware of our own mannerisms and traits and how they may impact someone."

Tamara believes that "if one of my images resonated with someone to seek help and support then it's done its job as well as creating awareness for the wider population."

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