Star Wars: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil
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Star Wars: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil

This series of photographs has become a signature pose when I photograph couples on their wedding day or during my engagement sessions.

I believe that the first time I used this pose was when I was taking self-portraits and trying to create a decent headshot to send out to use in a profile for a wedding photographer convention where I was speaking. Since I ironically hate most photographs of myself, performing this admittedly silly "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" triptych was a great way to avoid being serious in my own photographs. I then started to incorporate these poses into engagement sessions and weddings as a way to loosen up couples and at the same time help silly people be silly and serious people be ironic.

This pose is based on three wise Japanese monkeys called Mizaru (see no evil), Kikazaru (hear no evil), and Iwazaru (speak no evil). The likely source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th-century carving at a shrine in Nikkō, Japan.

However, the origin of the idea was either from an 8th century Chinese Tendai-Buddhist legend or it came from the 2nd to the 4th century B.C. Analects of Confucius which states: "Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety."