Chasserot begins by taking a plain studio portrait of his subjects. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Chasserot said he selects subjects that he finds "facially very interesting. Or that have interesting stories. A few people on the website are transgender."
Chasserot then creates 50 new images by making small manipulations to the original portrait in Photoshop. These alternations can include tweaking the size of a subject's eyes, the tone of a subject's skin, and the width of a subject's nose and chin.
"The idea is to produce a set of variations that either conform to the canons of beauty that have already been established, or go against it," says Chasserot.
Chasserot's subjects are then hooked up to an Emotiv brain scanner and shown the portraits in rapid succession.
Based on whichever portrait the individual has the most "engagement" with, Chasserot determines the subject's ideal self-image and displays the altered portrait beside the original.
Chasserot can remember the precise moment that inspired Original Ideal.
"What got me thinking was seeing a woman with four toes on each foot, from a congenital disorder. It was a hot summer day and she was wearing sandals. My gut reaction was: Wow, I would never. If I had four toes on each foot, I wouldn't wear sandals. That vain reaction we all have sometimes."
"My second thought was: She's very brave. She's intelligent enough to not care too much about what other people think of her physical appearance. It made me think about how much we project onto other people, even strangers."
"The real goal of the project is to get people to react in that way. To get them thinking about how much they're projecting onto the subjects' ideal self image."
Learn more about Original Ideal here.