Can a photograph steal your soul?

My instinctual response to this question has always been, of course not.  A photograph is capturing reflected light on the visible spectrum.  A soul is made up of the abstract qualities that define a person.  At face value, the two don't even interact.  What about photos taken of earth?  Were all the souls snatched up in one shot?  What about multiple photos?  Is it taking the soul or copying the soul?  These are the types of questions that break it down pretty quick when taken literally.

But when I stop thinking literally about the question, my answer switches to yes.  Why are portraits of people I'm involved with or friends with visually stronger than photos of strangers?  The main difference is my relationship and sense of who the person is.  I'm able to marry their being with my own style into one singular image.  I'm interpreting and casting their essence into permanence.  Breathing life into a still image.

That's not to dismiss photographs of strangers.  There's some powerful street photography out there that captures this same sense of being.  See:  Every pulitzer prize ever.  However, my own strengths are in the expression of the close interpersonal relationships I have.  But if the translation is dependent on the creator and their bias or preference then is it actually a snapshot of the creator and not the subject?  I'm going with both.

Every memory, every nuance, every good time and bad time about a relationship is coming out in the image.  Every... thing, is influencing this work.  I surround myself with ghosts, and it has a self-serving role in that way but I also strive to give something for the viewer to take from.  And I believe to move someone it has to be real.  Or based on something real.  And that means some interpretation of another person's soul that interacts with the viewer removed from the subject in the photograph. 

From that perspective, still images can be very much alive with the essence of the subject.