Memento Mori by Annette Kim


MEMENTO MORI by Annette Kim

#NOFILTER is a pretty popular hashtag. It generally means you upload a photo that you shot on your photo, without applying any filters. Photos uploaded without a filter are often perceived as more “authentic”.

To me, the concept is fascinating. What if you lived a real life without a filter?

I love white hair

For example, what if you talked with a #nofilter — saying what was really on your mind, instead of adding a rosy-sepia gold filter to what you wanted to say– to not “hurt” the feelings of others?

What if you made photos without hesitating. Without “Photoshopping” your own photos by removing distractions, like without cloning out power lines or other distractions?

What if we didn’t add a filter to our faces? What if we showed our flawed skin, wrinkles, crinkles, pimples and all– without shame?

What if we didn’t filter our hair? To let our glorious grey locks dance in the sun– rather than cover up our white hair with jet black dye?

Why I love Deadpool

My favorite recent movie was Deadpool. Why? It broke the “third wall”– meaning, the movie watcher was part of the inside jokes. Deadpool admitted that the production studio couldn’t afford the “A-list Marvel superheroes” like Wolverine, Iron man, etc. Instead, they chose “B-list” heroes like Deadpool, Colossus, and the fire girl (I don’t even remember her name).

I love how refreshingly unfiltered the reality of Deadpool was– no bullshit. No fake comedy, no fake jokes, it felt so refreshingly raw and real.

I want to be one person

My philosophy: I don’t want to be two-faced like Harvey Dent from Batman. Meaning, I want to be one person and have one face.

For example, I will curse in front of my mom. I’ll act in front of Cindy as I do when I hanging out with my friends and homeboys. If my actions aren’t accordance with my one face, either I need to quit being fake and “fronting”, or I need to filter my words and actions less.

I want to live RAW, no photoshopped ERIC KIM.

That means, exposing all parts of who I am.

The egomaniac, nice guy, all wrapped up in one package.

Do what works for you.

I’m not telling you to live an unfiltered life. I’m just sharing what I do.

But having fewer filters in my personal art, photos, and writing– I feel like I’ve been able to flourish more. To break through more self-imposed glass ceilings, and to finally escape my own golden cage, and fly free.

Do you feel restrained?

RICOH MAFIA by Annette Kim

So friend the last question I want to ask you is this:

How do you filter your life, and does it help you or hold you back?


eric kim photographer hanoi portrait by cindy a nguyen

Dear friend,

If you’re new, start here:

  1. Street Photography 101
  2. Books
  3. Forum

Articles »

Books »

Products »

Experiences »


Scroll to Top