Living Deeply

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”  ― Anais Nin

Image Title: Living Deeply, © Enrique Peláez

Similar to Anais Nin in the quote above, I believe I make photographs to taste life, in the moment and in retrospect. Even a studio work such as “Living Deeply” can easily take the photographer — or probably I shouldn’t generalize, and speak in first person, but I think many photographers, like me, see themselves as artists — to reflect deeper on the meaning of the image, What is what I captured? How people will read it? Do I care? Are there any thoughts that I want to convey? or is it a personal work so, what people think couldn’t care less.

Anais Nin was one of those artists that created not attachments to anything or anyone, her writings are deeply personal. In December of 1946, Harper’s Bazaar asked Nin a “short autobiography” to be used in a profile feature, she courteously said no to, the entire letter to the editor of the magazine is included in The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947, as follows a paragraphs that I believe summarizes how Nin felt about her work and her position as an artist in life :

“My familiar climate is anxiety. I write as I breathe, naturally, flowingly, spontaneously, out of an overflow, not as a substitute for life. I am more interested in human beings than in writing, more interested in lovemaking than in writing, more interested in living than in writing. More interested in becoming a work of art than in creating one. I am more interesting than what I write. I am gifted in relationship above all things. I have no confidence in myself and great confidence in others. I need love more than food. I stumble and make errors, and often want to die. When I look most transparent is probably when I have just come out of the fire. I walk into the fire always, and come out more alive. All of which is not for Harper’s Bazaar.”

Nowadays the contributions of Anais Nin to literature are generally recognized as huge, however, during her lifetime, her work was a subject controversy and kept so even after Nin’s death.  Even though some critics dismissed her concern with her own fulfillment as self-indulgent and narcissistic, they also respected her unique articulation of womanhood, her very emotional style, as well as her psychological insight.

This image is a tribute to Anais Nin.

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