Many of us have a love/hate relationship with the sun — a little sun exposure every day not only makes you happy, but you also get your much needed dose of vitamin D. However, as we also know, too much sun can lead to a number of illnesses, especially cancer. A Brooklyn-based photographer, Cara Phillips, decided to do a photo series entitled, “Ultraviolet Beauties,” which she refers to as “anti-portraits” since she photographed volunteers under UV lights to reveal skin's reaction to being exposed to too much sun.

Her inspiration for this series came after visiting different cosmetic surgery offices, The Huffington Post reported. “I came across B&W images of people with their eyes closed on doctors and medi-spa websites,” Phillips said. “I was immediately struck by the portraits, and discovered that they were made using a type of medical photography that reveals flaws beneath the skin that is invisible to the human eye.”

Phillips said it took her almost a year to understand how the technology was used because she couldn’t afford the medical equipment that many offices use. So she used her own camera and her own lights. She also said that she was using this project to spark questions in her viewers, Huff Post reported, and not for data-collecting purposes. “If anything, beauty, body issues, and aging are becoming bigger issues in our culture, so I am still interested in exploring the issue. But I am also working on some other projects that are not related.”

Take a look at some of the photos from her “Ultraviolet Beauties” series: 

s-UNTITLEDULTRAVIOLET147-large640 (Untitled) Ultraviolet #147, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2008

slide_233352_1109027_large (Untitled) Ultraviolet #80, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2008

(Untitled) Ultraviolet #101, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2008 (Untitled) Ultraviolet #101, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2008

 

(Untitled) Ultraviolet #60, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2008 (Untitled) Ultraviolet #60, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2008

(Untitled) Ultraviolet #7, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2009 (Untitled) Ultraviolet #7, Ultraviolet Beauties, 2009

To visit her full site, click here: Cara Phillips