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Brandon Aighty is Back

Leading up to the release of “NIGHTED Life 9: Gone” on March 1st, we’re posting one interview a day with each contributor. In this zine, 8 shooters respond with photos and writing to one of three questions.

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to dying?

What do you want done with your body when you die?

Which death has had the biggest impact on your life and why?
 

1. Without going into detail, can you share which question you decided to answer for NL9?
I answered the question about my closest experience with death.

2. Where’d you grow up? What was it like?
I grew up 25 minutes from Seattle after leaving Mexico when I was 7. When I first got here, it was difficult not knowing the language and being unfamiliar with everything American. I had never seen a football or heard of a PB&J and 7-year-old me thought it was all stupid. Once I learned the language, things got better but it was still a constant struggle to assimilate while trying to understand my identity in this country.

3. How does photography play into your day-to-day life?
I haven’t been carrying around a camera 24/7 anymore like I used to, but I look at photos I’ve taken and family photos every single day. On a day to day basis, photography helps me understand and see my life in a narrative that allows me to center myself in the present.

4. What types of situations do you find you take photos of most commonly? 
Most of my photos are portraits and the people in them are usually smiling or having fun. Real moments of pure joy and excitement are few and far between, and having photography to capture those moments is really a gift.

5. What’s changed about your perception of death as you’ve gotten older?
When I was in middle school I was really depressed and would think about suicide a lot. As I got older, those thoughts went away but I developed self-destructive habits and was doing things that put my life at risk constantly. Now I have a higher respect for life and I’m doing my best to live long.

6. In 10 words or less, what do you think truly – as far as you can explain or imagine – happens to a person after death?
You become fucking dust.

Instagram: @Aighty93