Photographer Helps Time Magazine Frame Teenage Depression

Lise Sarfati spent an hour with each of the cover story's three female subjects.

Teenage depression and anxiety are extremely worrisome topics. Parents, relatives, friends, classmates… we are all today reading and-or directly dealing with the increasing occurrence of this phenomenon.

For this week’s Time magazine cover story by Susanna Schrobsdorff about the topic, L.A.-based photographer Lise Sarfati spent an hour at home with each of the article’s three female subjects (two live in Maine, the other in California). In an accompanying behind-the-scenes piece by Time Lightbox writer Alexandra Genova, some interesting background on how Sarfati was set upon the trail is revealed:

Sarfati knew the context of the feature but was not told the girls’ full backstory prior to the shoot. “I’m sure this was so I wasn’t too influenced by it and so it didn’t dramatize what I was getting from the shoot,” says Sarfati. “It has to be more subtle, if the reader is to be able to investigate. It’s not about looking at a girl who has a sad face. It is more about what they have put up on their bedroom walls, how they relate to their own universe, what is in their environment, how they dress, how their body moves… This is more my field.”

Sarfati says she took great pains to avoid any semblance of “troubled teen” shots, opting instead for a visual language that conveys the unique environments of her three subjects. As part of the package, Time also has a series of helpful guidelines for parents.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Emily Berl Photographs Karina Longworth

Nov. 7 issue cover image courtesy: Time Inc.