Portrait Project


Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Esther Hsu

My memory fails me. It does not retain the precious details of days past. I must rely on the thousands of photographs that document the moments I hold dear.

Most of the time, these photos sit patiently, awaiting rediscovery. My days go by quickly and more often than not, I don't have camera in hand to record the fleeting moments which quilt together into days, months, and years.

But my treasured photos are reminders for today disguised as souvenirs from the past. Taken as a whole, they create a mosaic of my mind's eye. I recall the shots of chipping paint on the roof of a Tibetan monastery, glinting sun off the coast of Kenya, and the wintry sunrise over the Charles River.

But I love the photos that transport me to a time and a place when I was lost, confused, or full of heartache. They capture the faces of my family, friends, and strangers. I learn best with others — about the world and about myself. They remind me that I cannot always plan my life — I must take moments in stride, the good and bad, and with all the twists. With a little moxie, I will follow God's path for me, relying on the lessons from my past.

I plan to aim for those perfect shots and snap those fleeting moments. But I know that my viewfinder is limited — I never know how a photo will turn out until it develops.

— Esther Hsu