Dreamlike images examine mental health and perceptions of reality

A woman climbs the stairs towards a bright blue forest with balloons covering her face
Happy Encounters (Korea)

Exploring dreams, ideas, and possibilities are hallmarks of conceptual portrait photographer Faris Miko. The mesmerizing and non-worldly concepts presented in each of her shots not only captivate the eyes, but evoke a kind of strange intrigue in the story behind the images.

What began as a hobby in 2009 for getting some cute selfies for social networks has subtly evolved into an ambitious, passion-fueled journey to capture and examine mental health and perceptions of reality.

A woman with a hidden face and a black background holding a bird of paradise flower
Closer to Heaven (Spain)
A woman enters a large forest surrounded by an orange tree
Energy Expansion (Korea)

“I periodically review my feelings and reactions to the various situations I encounter to find their origin and address any potential problems before they get older. I believe it is very important to have a deep knowledge of our minds and never neglect our mental health and feelings in order to identify and treat any potential imbalances, ” betapixel.

A woman entering a purple flower bush
Magic Place (Korea)
Woman at bus stop with shiny blue balloons flying overhead
Magic Bus Station (Spain)

The beautiful, self-taught artist currently lives in the Canary Islands, Spain, and recently took a trip to Korea (a site that, in the past, inspired the artist) and decided to examine her headspace and natural surroundings there.

“I always feel a deep sense of peace, calm and renewed energy when I visit there and that is what I wanted to express, share and highlight in these shots, the importance of living in symbiosis with nature and finding places that I [match] Lots of our unique energy and vibrations […and] To find inner peace,” Miko says.

A woman reaching for the sky towards bright blue balloons
Irrational Attachments (Korea)
A woman in a vast brown landscape with bright red balloons covering her face and flying over her
The right company (Spain)

Each photo includes a nice mix of landscapes and Mucue props that include raw organic materials such as flowers and branches and some inorganic materials such as balloons or origami. Micue also joins this with amazing and expressive bodily movements, while always hiding her face. A deliberate act to evoke a more open interpretation of her images as well as to evoke the ambiguity of the emotional states of existence.

This unique conceptual style entices audiences to venture with Micue into vast forests, “fall” from mountaintops, or simply pause, meditate, and prioritize one’s mental health.

A woman falls backwards and paper cranes fly over her
Trust and grow wings (Spain)
Woman with blue ivy and red flowers
Embedded Passion (Korea)

The Canon 5D Mark IV was the Micue you use to create stories and turn your dreams into reality. But all this effort to express the inner material means that it must keep the outer material to a minimum.

“I like to be simple with my devices especially if I am traveling and will visit different locations simultaneously […my Canon] It is a good professional camera, but it is still lightweight and therefore easy to carry and because I shoot self-portraits. I can’t print [leave out] My tripod (nothing fancy, just sturdy enough to keep my camera in place) and of course my remote control, and I’m ready to build! “

Woman with white skirt and black top facing black wooden background with paper cranes floating in a circle above
Magic will always follow (Korea)

With a little fine-tuning in Photoshop, Micue is also able to immerse yourself more deeply in the scenic aspects of your shots.

“Photoshop has been my editing software since the beginning of my work, as I said before, I like to keep my work as simple as possible and Photoshop allows me to create my vision without too many complications,” says Micue.

woman with metallic background and blue flower afro
Perfect Vision (Korea)
A woman with a black apron being sold in a yellow dress and yellow flowers
Night Promises (Korea)

The unknown atmosphere can present its own set of challenges, but nothing Micue does not see as positive opportunities for creative storytelling.

“I think the hardest part about shooting in new environments is that you don’t have complete control over the elements and you don’t know exactly what you’re going to find, especially in nature where things can change in a matter of seconds, on these occasions, your experience, creativity, adaptability and thinking fast becomes essential. To get the most out of the place.”

Woman with pink flowers and teal bush
Serious Love Affair (Korea)
woman with solid black background and afro flower
My Mind, Shelter (Korea)

Hitting creative walls hits many artists, so when looking for inspiration or gaining the motivation to take risks in her photography, Micue emphasizes the need to feel liberated to encourage the latter.

“I […] Say freedom and the importance of finding places that match your energy In order to become the best version of yourself, the environment can have a very profound effect on our mental state, and thus our actions, levels of motivation, thoughts, overall energy and balance, even if your home only makes it motivating, inspiring and energetic and you will experience its benefits almost. I want to remind people to take time for themselves and delve into their feelings, goals, and motivations in life.” Micue adds.

A woman in a yellow dress is floating in a puddle
The Beauty of Freedom (Korea)
Woman and one bright orange tree
Where do we belong? (Korea)

“My advice is to find your voice, your message, and what drives you to create…”

Recently, Micue has been exploring mixed media pieces, introducing new materials and props, and is excited to take audiences on new journeys of meditation and positive self-kindness.

For more Micue, be sure to follow her Instagram.

Image credits: miko knight

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