The Heart’s Shutter
Hey everyone! My name is Lina. I am half French, half Japanese – and I’ve been doing photography as a hobby for about 10 years now.
There is this very poetic saying in Japanese – “心のシャッターを切る” or “pressing the heart’s shutter”.
It means imprinting the scene you are seeing onto your heart directly from your eyes, without a camera. It is often used as a way to encourage people to savor the moment without the compulsion to snap everything. However, I feel like it could also be interpreted in a completely different way. To me, that sentence almost feels like an invitation to find what makes your heart want to click.
That is what I would like to write about today. I would like to talk to you about how my Fuji X100V became my physical heart shutter.
My photography adventure started through my uncle. I grew up watching him immortalize people and moments with his camera. Rapidly, I wanted to do the same. In complete honesty, I also thought carrying around big gear looked really cool. Seeing that my interest for photography was growing, he gave me an exercise that I had to pass before getting my first camera. He tasked me to collect 100 photos that resonated with me and that made me feel something. He encouraged me to find the elements that made my heart move in the pictures I saw (at the time, it was a lot of sunsets and rainbows).
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/8 . 1/60″ . ISO 160 – Tokyo, Japan
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/14 . 1/1000″ . ISO 640 – Tokyo, Japan
After passing this test, I was very lucky to get my first-ever camera in the winter of 2013 when I was still in high school. It was a Nikon D610, which still holds a very special place in my heart today. I used it for 7 years, learning and growing alongside it. It was the camera that taught me the thrill of capturing a moment. I mainly took pictures of friends, priding myself at the time that more and more of them were using my photos as profile pictures on Facebook – and it brought me an immense amount of joy!
However, the more years passed the more the Nikon’s size became an issue. It still excelled at planned events when I knew for certain that I would be using it. However, carrying it around on random strolls was becoming a pain. I needed to carry it in a backpack, so not very practical if you’re just quickly running errands – and having it dangling around the neck was not possible if I wanted my neck to be functional the following day.
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/4.5 . 1/125″ . ISO 8000 – Reunion Island
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/14 . 1/4000″ . ISO 3200 – Reunion Island
So, for some time, I stopped carrying my camera around. Even when going on trips, I would sometimes not have enough space for it. I started to rely more and more on my “heart’s shutter” and gave my heart the (big) responsibility to remember all the sights I was seeing. From the most spectacular views to the most casual scenes, I tried my hardest to imprint them onto my memory. But I quickly started realizing that my heart could only hold so much. After a few months, the memory of a feeling remained but the image faded away. More and more often, I would be touched by a scene unfolding in front of me and feel the pain of being empty-handed. My heart needed a little help.
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/14 . 1/1000″ . ISO 3200 – Reunion Island
That is when I knew I needed to get a new camera. One that could be my constant companion, from supermarket runs to international travels. A camera to capture both the most casual and most crucial moments. I wanted a camera that could be the physical embodiment of my heart’s shutter.
I got my Fujifilm X100V as a Christmas present to myself. I set the bar extremely high for my future gifts to myself because I instantly fell in love. I had already been charmed by the camera when I had seen its compact and vintage design online, I even fell further when learning about the film simulations it could do. The first time I pressed on the shutter, I felt an immense surge of pure excitement I hadn’t gotten for a long time. I was able to reconnect with the sensation that got me into photography. That very night, I went for a walk outside to shoot a bunch of photos. I knew right then that a new chapter had begun for me.
Since then, I started bringing my Fuji camera with me every chance I got. Whether it was to go to a neighborhood park, to the city to see some friends or even run errands. I suddenly had the sensation that the world around me was filled with beautiful scenes waiting to be captured. I reconnected with the simple sensation of pressing the shutter just because my heart felt like it. Not because what I was seeing was objectively spectacular, but just because I personally found beauty in it.
I also feel more connected to the world since using the camera. I grew up quite shy. I was the type of kid who would hide behind my parents when meeting new people. As I grew up, that shyness disappeared but when I had the Nikon – I would sometimes use it as a shield. A bubble that allows me to capture a moment without really being in it – especially at social events. Now it’s the opposite. I see my camera as a tool to connect with the world surrounding me. When I take a stroll around the city with my camera in hand, it makes me pay attention to the countless snippets of life unfolding around me. When I press the shutter, it is an affirmation of my heart feeling a connection with that moment. And sharing these pictures became something really intimate as well.
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/10 . 1/1000″ . ISO 1250 – Lisbon, Portugal
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/11 . 1/1000″ . ISO 800 – Lisbon, Portugal
Sharing pictures was a whole story too. I have always had a feeling of insecurity around “consistency”. For a long time, I was deeply convinced that in order for me to start sharing pictures, I had to first find my artistic style that would be consistent across all my pictures and stay the same until the day I die (very dramatic). It took me 3 years to create an account, then another 2 months of thinking about the perfect username and the perfect “first picture” to post.
Shooting with the X100V helped me to make peace with that feeling. It made me realize that I loved taking pictures of a variety of objects – not only people but also food, flowers, buildings, furniture, architecture… and that it was a shame to close my heart to it just for the sake of consistency. It also made me experiment a lot with editing style. I absolutely love playing around with the colors until they speak to me, and I am now able to accept the idea that I might not edit a picture the same way a few months from now.
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/5.6 . 1/480″ . ISO 160 – Metropolitan France
In that sense, I think since getting my X100V my photography became much more personal.
They are a reflection of how I lived the moment, a window into my heart and soul.
My consistency became that all these pictures brought me joy and moved my heart in some way.
If one day they can also move the heart of another person, then I would consider myself a happy human!
Thank you so much for reading, and big thanks to Fuji X Passion for giving me this opportunity 🙂
RIGHT: Fuji X100V . f/5.6 . 1/750″ . ISO 160 – Metropolitan France
“My name is Lina – I’m a French and Japanese photography enthusiast currently based in France. I believe every place has its very own color palette, and I love capturing the different tones a place, city, or country has to offer.”