Every time I press the shutter button, I feel a responsibility to what I capture. That overdeveloped sense of accountability is more evident when I shoot people.

I choose to blur them. Or capture them out of focus. I applaud their importance without allowing them identity.

I sometimes have to ask myself the question whether I do this to disassociate. Or could it be that I don’t particularly like what they project back at me, about myself.

Do I forget, after I press the shutter, develop the image and applaud my brilliance , the faces that I capture?

Do I think about where these unwilling subjects came from? What experience shaped them the most? Their dreams. Their passions. Their fear.

Do I contemplate their future? On what path they are finding themselves on? Their aspirations. Their struggles.

Do I imagine their expectations of pleasure? The twinkling of failure?

Do I celebrate their existence?

Do I see myself in them?

Are we being shaped by our past? Or are we being shaped by our future?

Are we the end result of all the things we’ve seen?

All the things we’ve done?

The places we’ve been?

The people we’ve had to leave behind?

All that’s happened in your life?

Is it those things that brings the light and darkness to the blank screen?

Anthony Bourdain

9 thoughts on “Personification

  1. > Begin forwarded message: > > From: Robert Hansen > Subject: Re: [New post] Personification > Date: January 13, 2022 at 3:39:20 PM PST > To: John Wilson > > Very, very cool >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy your work so much! So many images out there that are so linear, so sharp, that it becomes boring to me. What I enjoy most about your images is, to me, it represents what life really is: blurred lines, fuzziness, maybe even unsureness but in reality ends as a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing all of it!


  3. Dear Lani,

    Your post is wonderful. I love the photos; I love the questions that you ask; I love the self-critical examination of your motives. You make Susan Sontag on photography seem shallow.

    As always, you astound me. I am lucky to have become your friend — with some more luck, I will be able to get a small part of what you can teach through my thick skull.

    I will think some more and write you some detailed responses.


    Lash LaRue

    Sent from my iPad 3440 South Jefferson St, #877 Falls Church, VA 22041-3154


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dearest, Lash!
      And as long as we learn from the heart and not the head, we will be so much more gentler with each other.
      I ask these questions because I am so very, very flawed and would love to be more by being less.


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