Elena Dorfman seeks the social, sexual, and cultural identities of the subjects she photographs, often choosing to document the subcultures of marginal communities. Her intention is never to exploit her subjects, but rather to provide a glimpse into their realities through her work. In “Still Lovers”, Dorfman explored the lives of real men and women who formed intimate relationships with silicone, anatomically functional sex dolls. Adopting a documentary approach to image-capturing, Dorfman places herself inconspicuously in the environment of her subjects, as in the “Fandomania” series, where she immersed herself in the subculture of "cosplay" (an extreme world of costume and roleplaying derived from Japanese manga and video games) by taking a place among participants at conventions. Most recently, a sociological study of communities who gather to jump into water from rock quarries led to a newfound endeavor: photographing overlooked Midwestern landscapes.