I make photographs. At least that's how I've thought of myself in relation to photography since the beginning. (Beginning, in my case, being around the year 2004).

The truth is that as of this writing I spend more time thinking about photographs and visual symbolism than I do making pictures. My thoughts about these topics have never been entirely organized, consistent or structured. I don't make my living entirely through commissions anymore (though I still take them), and I don't have nearly the same time to be out in the world as I used to as I care for my son at home much of the time. I live in a new city and (as of writing) I'm still getting settled, but while that happens I can write a bit.

I feel quite sure that pictures are fundamentally inexplicable and unknowable (this is part of why I love them) - but that writing can elucidate their power. It can help to provide perspective on how images bury themselves into our own view of the world and even ourselves. The best writers on photography have done this for me. I also wish that the society I live in would spend more time investigating the role pictures play in our own lives, and so I'll start here - giving it a go in my own little corner. I am sure I will delve into the impetus behind my own pictures, but I will also investigate images out in the world. Like the pictures I hope to make, I view it successful if it results in more interesting questions than answers.

The title of this evolving page - Seeing is Affection - is a reminder that to photograph is an act of appreciation, amongst other things. It is also a nod to a Wendell Berry essay that emphasizes the importance of appreciating where you are (amongst other things). Finally, it is a reminder to myself to attempt to the leave cynicism (but not criticism, and not skepticism) aside where I can. I've got it in spades, and the world's got enough of it too.

Peter Hoffman
Nov 1, 2021