documenting worlds
photography by annie appel
film-based work *
jerry
what makes me happy is to see other
people happy and smiling. it only takes 13
muscles to smile and 27 to frown, so why
not walk around with a smile on  your face
and save yourself the work
richard
pretty scandinavian ladies. you are
scandinavian, aren't you?
rodney
life and knowing you're living  and
understanding yourself day by day makes
me happy. learning from others without
judging. god is with you all the time, and
so we are never alone
debbie
keeping sober
victor
debbie makes me happy
john
one thing makes me happy - my son
sharon
being able to do whatever we want
scott
freedom makes me happy. i just spent
ten years in prision
esther
the bible makes me happy
emilio
to be a movie star
fas
women, and children, and puppies, and
money, and acknowledgement of life
dennis
god makes me happy. life makes me
happy. you make me happy
tracy
my one year old baby girl
blanca
dios me hace  feliz

elias
dios
antonio
my family and my girlfriend make me
happy
jerry lewis jr.
to see the homeless get helped
warren
i treat people the way i want to be treated.
it would make me happy if people treated
me the same way.
home
Activism
Exchanges,
(1987)*
At nine o'clock on a Sunday morning I set up
my backdrop and 4x5 view camera at Pershing
Square, a park in downtown Los Angeles. A few
people, roused from sleep by my unloading of
equipment, watched carefully as I transformed a
corner of their living place into an impromptu
studio. In the fifteen minutes that passed
between setting up and waiting for the first
person to approach me, I was filled with doubt.
What if no one wanted to be photographed?  Did
I dare to approach individuals and if so, whom
would I select?

"Let go of control, Annie, and just have a little
faith," I told to myself.

"What are you doing?" asked a friendly voice. I
turned to see that the voice came from a man,
well over six feet tall, with a smile that seemed
nearly as wide.

"I'm giving you a free photograph of yourself,
what do you think of that?" I replied.

"Great, what do I have to do?" asked the man.

"I ask two favors of you: first, tell me what it is
that makes you happy, and second, think about
that when I snap the shutter."

Using a polaroid back on my camera, I was able
to give each person an instant print of the image
I captured. The only difficult part of my day
was explaining that the photograph was not a
gift, but rather an exchange.