Capturing feelings on film year after year
Liao Hongni burst tears during the shoot.
“The happiest moment of this year was becoming a mother,” she told photographer Li Guangbo this month.
It was Liao’s second time participating in Li’s annual photography projec t, Recording Your Emotions.
The 22-year-old shutterbug has snapped pictures of more than 2,000 people ages 3 to 70 and held two exhibitions since he launched the free public program in Chongqing municipality two years ago.
He captures a range of feelings, from joy to rage, excitement to melancholy, and jealousy to confusion.
“Urbanites are busy trying to make it in life and forget to examine their inner feelings,” says Li.
“So, I want to give them a chance during the last month of the year.”
Liao was 24 and about to marry when she first participated.
“I skipped the 2015 shoot because I was pregnant,” she says.
“But I’ve decided to do this every year to record my life.”
Li has participants sit on a stool in a spotlight and asks about their happiest and saddest developments of the year, and their hopes for the coming year.
Some cry. Some fall silent. Some smile. A few crack jokes. “Many shed tears,” says Li. “Sometimes I feel more like a therapist than a photographer ... It’s quite challenging . I hear many touching stories but must remain dispassionate to complete my mission.”
Li developed the idea when experiencing a series of life changes in 2014.
The self-taught photographer had earned a reputation for his commercial shoots during college.
But he decided to pursue art upon graduation.
“I wanted to record that year in some way,” he recalls.
“And I thought others may, too ... People often feel panicked and confused i n December. I wanted to capture their feelings.”
His collection won t he Award for Cultivation of New Talent at the 2016 China Pingyao International Photography Festival in September.
He plans to continue with his project for at least five years.
He wants to publish an album next year.
“We feel the power of time when we view these images,” he says.
We feel the power of time when we view these images.”
Li Guangbo (left) records the emotions of ordinary people in his photography project. Li Guangbo, photographer