Creative Self-Portraits Captured Inside an Airplane Lavatory

Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style is a spontaneous portrait project that photographer Nina Katchadourian started while traveling by plane in 2010. Here’s her account:

While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. I decided to add more images made in this mode and planned to take advantage of a long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, guessing that there were likely to be long periods of time when no one was using the lavatory on the 14-hour flight. I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. I was wearing a thin black scarf that I sometimes hung up on the wall behind me to create the deep black ground that is typical of these portraits. There is no special illumination in use other than the lavatory’s own lights and all the images are shot hand-held with the camera phone.

Some people just have to flex their photographic muscles regardless of where they are…

The next time you find yourself on a long-haul flight with nothing to do, see if you can top Katchadourian’s self portraits using only the materials found in the lavatory.

Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style (via Flavorwire)

Image credits: Photographs by Nina Katchadourian and used with permission

  • Doug

    Meanwhile, I’m waiting outside to use the bathroom! Hurry up in there!

  • Spider- Man

    LMAO nice use of ‘ass gaskets’

  • Slash_Cynic

    Most disgusting place to take a photo.

  • Philip Han

    Let me guess, a print will fetch five or maybe six figures in the future?

  • Xxx

    Throwaway, self indulgence.

  • Corrina

    These are brilliant!  Well done.  I sort of want this series in my house. 

  • richard

    Regardless of how impromptu and the camera used, at the end of the day she loves photography and takes up any opportunity to try something different. Personally, I find them quite comical and original. As the saying goes the best camera is the one you have with you at the time

  • St Crispinian

    And the award for Best Makeshift Renaissance Costume Above 30,000 Feet goes to…

  • Anatole Klapouch

    oh, that’s why it’s always occupied! =/

  • Sian

    Can you tell Santa Claus I want a bike for X mas? you must be very busy around December making all the toys :)

  • Spider- Man

    No, that goes to the camera that checks your ass hole for polyps…

  • Steanson

    Google Laviator

  • The_photographer_Tom

    What a wonderfully creative set of images. Natural lighting, using what’s available as props. What’s not to like? Kudos to the lady.

  • Am

    Creatively done!!

  • Leon

    Art of trolling.

  • Emily Sephton

    Creative, but I usually feel like bathing in hand sanitizer after using an in flight bathroom.

  • Chunks

    I thought the “mile high club” was about something else….

  • Arakisss

    Great! WHO used all the Toilet Paper?

  • Eric Vogel

    For her sake, I hope so. Good optimism Phillip :) 

  • Eric Vogel

    I am glad they weren’t thrown away and were shared. Not really much to do on a flight but self indulge anyway, right? Might as well get creative and have fun.

  • Chrissie Marshall

    Love it and how original,  makes a long journey a tad different. The other passengers must have thought you had a tummy bug

  • Andre Chardon

    after your passage ?

  • Peter Maine

    It’s her face that makes this stuff compelling. Hope she has a good therapist.

  • David Amaral

    so this is the bitch that used up all the paper (wash my hands,wash my hands)!!! 

  • David Amaral

    natural lighting? she’s at 30,000 ft.. ain’t nothin’ natural ’bout that!

  • Revcaellison

    The point that seems to have been missed is the juxtaposition of such a whimsical parody on such a somber set of folks.  Perhaps you have to live in the sectarian ethos of an American Dutch community to REALLY see the humor in this.  How will it play in Peoria, or Pella–not so well, I’m betting.  They are brilliant.

  • Eric Vogel

    Bitch? Real classy David. Hey, if this trolling thing doesn’t work out for you you may have a future in mysogonistic conservative shock jock radio. You sound like a real gem of a guy.

  • Beckychase444

    Rock on, sister. LOVE you!

  • The_photographer_Tom

     Perhaps I should have said “available”. Whatever lighting was used, you have to applaud the lady’s creativity

  • hog

    give her a broom for crying out loud!!!

  • Shepster

    Kudos to the lady for creativity. These priceless Flemish tributes may well come to a landing in the MFA, give or take a few centuries.

  • Perez1112

    this is so funny, what creativity.  Great job!

  • Ofer

    My wife teaches art ( at our local school — redwood shores elementary. She loved this so much that she decided to do a homage to Nina with her students. The result is absolutely fantastic…