wine stains.

Daniella Valenzuela

This photograph depicts a close up of someone's stomach scar, their hands rest on the top and bottom of their stomach that is partially exposed.

At the end of April 2022, I had to undergo emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder after experiencing several episodes of violent stomach aches. This surgery came at the worst time possible, in the middle of exam season and my final projects. However, in the weirdest of ways, the surgery was the turning point in my life that I just needed. The scars I was left with from the surgery remind me of that. This is where I found common ground with all my subjects; that their scars, no matter where they came from, have a story behind them. I have named this project Wine Stains because, like wine, scars come in different shades; they can be pale like a Pinot Grigio or dark like a Cabernet Sauvignon. The series is composed of a portrait of each subject, alongside an image of their scar up close. The way I told them to pose can clue you in on how they feel about their scar and that moment in their lives, without giving too much away of their personal stories.