Award winning documentary filmmaker and director Charlie Russell spends a day exploring what inspires acclaimed portrait photographer Laura Pannack to continue her ongoing project ‘The Walks’.
The short documentary film takes a look into Pannack’s wanderlust to explore and capture portraits of the people she meets on her spontaneous day trips. “It’s kind of like train roulette. You shouldn’t really know where you’re going to go and you shouldn’t really care” says Pannack who, by spontaneously boarding trains without an idea of her destination, is able to get completely lost and rediscover why it is she loves photography.
“I learn the most when I walk with a camera; about myself and the company I share. I engage. I stop mentally. I listen. True discipline for me is learning to decide when to experience and when to capture”.
The on-going project allows Pannack to take a break from her everyday life, to delve into solitude and to think. It has become a way for her to continue challenging herself photographically, but also emotionally as she is drawn to people who at first glance appear reserved and sometimes refuse to have their picture taken: “A lot of my role as a portrait photographer is not about composing a picture and taking it. A lot of it is just about empathising with people. I think it’s about forming a relationship with people”.
It is through this combined ability of self-reflection and empathy that Pannack is able to uncover the story hidden behind the faces of her subjects and produce photographs that reveal deep truths about the places she visits.
FullBleed were initially drawn to Pannack because of her profound dedication to her subject through her other ongoing projects such as ‘Young Love’. “She has an incredible eye for capturing a true and almost instant insight into the lives of the people she photographs. Her dedication reaps huge rewards,” says FullBleed commissioning editor Jude Edginton.
The film is available to watch on FullBleed.tv, the BJP co-produced channel of films on photography made by photographers. To see more FullBleed films, sign up to FullBleed’s channel and keep an eye on BJP’s Twitter and Facebook for new releases.