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She explained to the New York Times in 1990, "I feel I'm anonymous in my work.

But the blacks are all exactly the same color, the color of traditional blackface makeup.

They all have nearly the same features, too, while Ms.

Frustrated with what she saw as the medium's limitations, she abandoned the form and took up photography.

"[T]here was nothing more to say [through painting]", she later recalled.

When I see what I want, my intuition takes over—both in the 'acting' and in the editing.

Seeing that other person that’s up there, that’s what I want.

Sherman is able to give the white characters she impersonates a real range of skin tones and facial features. It looked like a stale visual myth that was still in good working order." Other early works involved cutout figures, such as the Murder Mystery and Play of Selves.

In her landmark photograph series, the Untitled Film Stills, (1977–80), Sherman appeared as B-movie and film noir actresses.

Sometimes I disappear." She describes her process as intuitive, and that she responds to elements of a setting such as light, mood, location, and costume, and will continue to change external elements until she finds what she wants.

She has said of her process, "I think of becoming a different person.

"I was meticulously copying other art and then I realized I could just use a camera and put my time into an idea instead." Sherman has said about this time: "One of the reasons I started photographing myself was that supposedly in the spring one of my teachers would take the class out to a place near Buffalo where there were waterfalls and everybody romps around without clothes on and takes pictures of each other. But if we're going to have to go to the woods I better deal with it early.’ Luckily we never had to do that." She spent the remainder of her college education focused on photography.