Two days ago, my sister texted me from Paris. She included a photo of her young daughter writing in a journal that I bought last Christmas. The gesture meant a lot. A few moments later, I sent images of my own journal entries from an October 2009 visit. The words conjured up specific memories and details; experiences that I wanted to remember…. moments that mattered (to me).
I’ll often wake up in the middle of the night and write about dreams. When I lived in Hollywood during my late 20s, I liked to document specific events through journal writing and photography. Back then, Instagram didn’t exist. I snapped pictures on Hollywood Boulevard because I was there — not because I had dreams of being the next great street photographer. And while I worked in a creative environment in the promo industry (on the post-production side), nobody expected any creativity from me, probably because I didn’t have enough confidence to share personal work, or the necessary polish.
In late June 2012, three people robbed (and knifed) me in Athens, Greece. Transferred pictures = gone. Sixty days of travel writing = gone. It happens. I survived and still have all those memories. They’re real to me. But that experience reminded me of a few things. One: the robbery, near Omonia Station (a dangerous part of Athens), happened because of location, time and opportunity. I hadn’t prepared like usual. Two: everything I lost, all those images and words on my laptop, meant A LOT to me. They weren’t random snaps and writings. In Los Angeles, I often thought about experiences, locations and history. When I moved back to Fargo, I began thinking more about visual themes, which ultimately inspired Vague Visages.
On March 11, 2017, I visited with some old friends at Fargo’s Old Broadway and brought along my Fujifilm X100 for some black and white street photography. Framing. Motion. Context. Texture. Shapes. Reactions. These are my visual documents. (Trivia: A young Robert Zimmerman roamed these streets in 1959 before moving onto Minneapolis-St.Paul and New York City, where he would become known as Bob Dylan.)
Q.V. Hough (@qvhough) is a freelance writer and the Founding Editor of Vague Visages. In 2004, he graduated from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) with bachelor degrees in Communication-Mass Media and History. From 2006 to 2012, Quinn lived in Hollywood, California and now resides in Fargo, North Dakota.