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  • Banna Kanuteh

The Inside: out



During the making of my “ moment of happiness“ campaign there were a couple of different ways I captured my four images. I thought about personally what goes through my head when I look at a photo and figured other people would probably want to know what went into ’catching‘ these moments of happiness in a snapshot.


The boy with the puppy is Mikey. He’s a member of a family I babysit for, and this picture was from one of the first days he got his new friend.

One day when we took Luna out for a walk to a nearby school, and played with her in the field; I could see the happiness Luna gave Mikey written all over his face. The next time I came to watch him; I brought my camera, explain to his parents what I envisioned and asked permission to take pictures of the adorable pair. They happily agreed, especially when I told them that it would be featured in King County Metro buses, and would be used as a tool to bring joy to others. Once Mikey washed the chocolate off his face we were ready to start snapping pictures. At first controlling Luna was a bit of a challenge; being such a young puppy she had a lot of energy, so the pictures turned out to be mostly her dodging us.


After getting ahold of her we had another issue: Mikey was a little camera shy. When I asked him to smile he had more of a scared sort of grimace. I think he was still a little nervous around Luna since she’d sometimes liked to bite. Having to deal with two restless subjects made me have to angle myself just right to get the perfect shot. After a bit of trying to get a clear picture (I get a few blurry photos here and there because I’m still not perfect with the camera.) I got this moment of happiness right when Mikey turned Luna away from him and felt her tail smack him in the face. He shrieked in delight and I was able to get that exact moment.


The other two photos were taken in Pike Place market within an hour. Now, if you’re a photographer you know three good photos in an hour is semi-impressive, add in the fact that I went there looking to take pictures of a very specific type of event. I went there to spot happiness in action and encapsulate it in a moment forever, in a photo. Because it took such a short amount of time for my mentor and I to see just a few moments of happiness, imagine the hundreds of moments all around us; gone unseen &/or unappreciated. 


Mr. Ernesto Ybarra is an artist who sells his original paintings in Pike Place market and has been for years. His inspiration “beautiful women” is obvious and prominent in his paintings in which some are rich and vibrant with color and others are sharp and detailed.

When I first started to look at his art, shortly after getting there, I could see the passion and dedication it took to make each painting. The beauty of it astounded me. Feeling a bit shy to talk to a him and ask if I could take his picture for a project, my mentor Mary actually spoke to him at first, asked him his story, and got him to agree to getting his picture taken. He told me that he loved being surrounded by pretty women all day (his artwork) and that he didn’t have a favorite; they all were. Having this recognition, for something he just simply loves to do, on this platform, is his moment of happiness. Being a part of the market community, meeting people from all over, of all different walks of life, and having his paintings fly further than he’s ever dreamed is his moment of happiness and I am so happy to experience it with him.


Carlos and Trevor were just casually strolling through the market when they decided to stop and take a quick selfie.

To those not paying attention it may have been an ordinary occurrence, but to us, we saw a moment of happiness. The guys agreed to be in my campaign after I captured the perfect image of them just taking a selfie, and enjoying life. Sometimes it’s the small things you have to take a closer look at.


Now, mind you, all the photos in my campaign were shot by me, and are of real people living and enjoying their everyday moments. The funny thing about the group photo with the ladies is that it was taken when we were on our way back to the car, wrapping it up for the day, and the group approached us. 

Our cameras were put away at this point, both My mentor and I enjoying our giant chocolate chip cookies when a random lady comes up and asks Mary, a master photographer of all people, to take their group picture for them.

She agreed that I could take their photo for them on the condition that I could take a photo of them in return. After getting some photos on the phone, I started to take my camera out and the ladies were shook. After explaining about Tedx and King County Metro they laughed and told us they’d thought we’d been joking about taking a picture of them as well. Even so they kept their word and were eager to get their friendship showcased. After having them scooch in closer to one another, you could see the sisterly bond and friendship they all shared.


Getting a picture of this true moment of happiness wasn’t hard at all considering it was of a group. Afterwards as we were all talking, the woman told me that they had all known each other since college and tried to meet up every few years. Since one of them lived in Seattle, Margaret, they decided to do their get together here, in our city. Some of them came as far as the midwest all in the name of friendship. I was ecstatic fate helped me capture this beautiful moment.


There you have it now you know exactly how my project came about. The inside: out.

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This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.