Ontario-based photographer Patty Maher takes enchanting portraits of faceless women. Whether their backs are turned to the camera or their hair is perfectly veiling their faces, the women in Maher’s photography manage to remain anonymous. When asked why the photographer opts to capture women without revealing their facial features (a question she is most often asked), Maher says, “It's not something I set out to do… but the mystery and anonymity allows me to tell stories that are more universal. A faceless woman can be anyone, and that's exciting.”
Having first embarked on her photography career a mere three years ago, Maher started out taking self-portraits. She later switched her focus to models and her growing collection organically shifted towards the anonymous portraits she continues to take today. Her images, inspired by fairy tales and fantasy, each has its own narrative. The self-proclaimed dreamer’s visuals tell an enchanting and, at times, haunting story.
Maher says, “The fact that I don't show faces allows people to potentially write themselves into the story that I'm trying to tell… Any picture I take, it could be any woman. It could be the viewer, it could be someone they know – their mother, their sister, their aunt – whatever they want it to be. And that's really a goal of mine, to be able to move people in some kind of way. When someone says my photo has made them feel something, it's the highest compliment I could ever receive.”