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All photographs courtesy the artist

Issue 120, Spring 2023

Dear Atlanta: Manipulation of the Reflection

Nicole Hernandez photographs authentic interactions between friends, lovers, and mothers.

Artist: Nicole Hernandez 

Project: “Manipulation of the Reflection”

Description: Inspired by Atlanta and the individuality of its inhabitants, Nicole Hernandez makes work that transports you to lived-in moments of genuine intimacy. Each film photograph in her series “Manipulation of the Reflection” captures an unfiltered interaction, whether it’s an expectant mother in her childhood backyard; two best friends sharing a playful kiss; or the rapper Latto, who grew up in Clayton County, jumping rope with her pals. From behind her camera, the North Carolina-born photographer and director strives to honor authenticity—of the people she sees and of the places where they feel most like themselves, from hazy ATL house parties to sunlit clearings in the Georgia woods. The gratitude Hernandez feels for her subjects and the worlds they inhabit is obvious, and so it’s not a surprise that the resulting images convey calmness, warmth, and a sense of belonging. At times the photographs may feel like an invasion of privacy, inspiring viewers to ask, Should I be seeing this? Should I be here? By prioritizing connection and intentionality, Hernandez beckons us to stay.

Curated by: EWANG

Nicole Hernandez

Nicole Hernandez is a film photographer and director based in Atlanta, Georgia. Known as a provocateur, she captures consciousness in moments of sensuality and softness. Her emotionally charged visuals expose the inherent vulnerability in our shared universe. She strives to tell stories that feel honest, intuitive and familiar. See more of her work on her website,