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In her landmark photograph series Untitled Film Stills, (1977–80), Sherman appears as B-movie and film noir actresses.When asked if she considers herself to be acting in her photographs, Sherman said, “I never thought I was acting. Somehow the acting just happened.” Many of Sherman's photo series, like the 1981 Centerfolds, call attention to stereotypes of women in films, television and magazines.Bus Riders (1976–2000) is a series of photographs that feature the artist as a variety of meticulously observed characters.
Sherman used her own possessions as props, or sometimes borrowed, as in Untitled Film Still #11 in which the doggy pillow belongs to a friend.They all have nearly the same features, too, while Ms.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.During this time, she began to explore the ideas which became a hallmark of her work: She dressed herself as different characters, cobbled together from thrift-store clothing.Frustrated with what she saw as the limitations of painting as a medium of art, she abandoned it and took up photography.