The Color White

Photographer/Writer: Jacob Tran

Photographer Assistant: Luke Nguyen

Model: Rachel Dang

Layout: Jaina Wong



To understand the overall concept of this set and idea of “self”, let us do an inquiry on the dominant color of the pictures. What is the meaning of the color white? In color psychology white is the color of new beginnings, of wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn't stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive. White contains an equal balance of all the colors of the spectrum, representing both the positive and negative aspects of all colors. Its basic feature is equality, implying fairness and impartiality, neutrality and independence. With that understanding, I really wanted to reflect it in my work and myself by utilizing the dominant color technique. All my colleagues and peers know that I love color; however, I feel like the color white speaks strongly within me (which funny because it relates back to the concept that white is the summation of all the colors of the spectrum) and I wanted to express that. I am that blank, bare white canvas that is destined to be colored and illustrated upon.


I feel like I was very fortunate in my upbringing as a young adult by having a loving family and I never really had to worry about anything because my parents worked so hard giving my siblings and me a better life. Growing up in white suburbia, all I ever had to really worry about is how to live life, and whatever career I do in the near future I have to try to be the best at what I do. My canvas does not contain extreme trauma or hardships in which would propel me to do the things I do. I am fueled by inspiration all around me, it’s quite addicting simply because of my learner mindset. I am surrounded by creative friends that help push me to become better and I am so thankful for that. My biggest flaw is being a perfectionist in my craft; I can never feel satisfied with what I do. I think that is one of the negative traits of the color white which is completely okay to accept. The color white is cleanliness personified; however, it can give the feeling of sterility and coldness of emotions. It’s the anxiety that the color white gives that I feel with my work. I can somethings be very critical to myself in need of perfection and I would sometimes hide my flaws from others to give an impression of perfection. I will not let that side defeat me as a creative.



The beauty of photography is that it captures motion in a specific time. Having Rachel (the model) dressed in all white, we played with different ways in how we could capture the fluid motion of a white cloth that served to complement her different poses. The combination of shooting mid-day and the dominant color of white, all the colors from the image turned out how I imagined it to be. From a different perspective, the aesthetic of Rachel wearing all white with the white cloth plays on the alternative definition of the word “self”. The adjective form of the word “self” is defined as: (of a trimming or cover) of the same material and color as the rest of the item. Framing and positioning were utilized in ways that help serve a balance of Rachel, her clothes, the cloth, and everything in the background. That’s what I love about photography is that it requires the perspective of the photographer to make it come alive. You are seeing what I am seeing. All-in-all, this shoot with Rachel is a thesis of how photographers are one with their photograph. Even though my work does not contain me in it, my work defines who I am and shows the accumulation of everything in my life leading up to that specific moment.


To see more of Dylan's work visit his Instagram @jacob_tran