• About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Photographer Sage Sohier has been spending time at a facial nerve clinic in Boston for the past 3 years, where she photographs people who have varying degrees of facial paralysis. This condition usually occurs on only one side of the face.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    The causes of facial paralysis are many, including Bell's Palsy, tumors, strokes, accidents and congenital nerve damage. At the clinic, patients are offered long-term physical therapy, often coupled with Botox therapy.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Botox is used for medical as well as cosmetic reasons. It can be injected into areas of the face that are overactive and can also be used to weaken the normal side of the face in someone with facial paralysis, providing more symmetry to the two sides. In some cases, surgery is an option.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Most of the portraits in this series were made during a patient's first or second visit to the clinic, before the beginning of treatment.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Sohier sometimes follows a person's progress over time, and has been privileged to witness hope and excitement emerge as the patient regains the ability to smile, speak and eat more normally.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Most people Sohier photographs are acutely aware of their imperfections and try to minimize them.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Some have confided in Sohier that, in their attempt to look more normal, they strive for impassivity and repress their smiles.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    They worry that this effort is altering who they are emotionally and affecting how other people respond to them.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    While most of us assume that our expressions convey our emotions, it seems that the inverse can also be true: our emotions can, in some ways, be influenced by our facial expressions.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Sohier's intention has been to make portraits that are psychologically powerful, visually intriguing and that challenge conventional notions of portraiture.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    What these subjects bring to the camera elicits something wistful, tender and deeply human.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Sohier states that when we are looking at someone with partial facial paralysis, we are in a sense seeing two versions of the same face at once, with each side conveying different emotions.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Sohier says that we observe multiple facets of something in a single instant, like gazing at a cubist painting.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    Sohier hopes these pictures bear witness to the incredible courage required to deal with medical affections, especially when they affect one's primary appearance. The poise and inner strength that it takes to deal with this, while at the same time presenting oneself to the world, is remarkable.
  • About Face: Alluring Portraits of People with Facial Paralysis

    You can purchase this series in book form at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/About-Face-Sage-Sohier/dp/1935195360">Amazon</a> and <a href="http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/A/bo14381595.html">The University of Chicago Press</a>. For more of Sohier's work, visit <a href="http://www.sagesohier.com/">sagesohier.com</a>
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