Watch this video and find out how my 52 Project originated.


Hi! Thank you for stopping by. My name is Anna Marie Panlilio, and I'm a San Francisco-based photographer who captures movement, people and energy. When I graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism, I was jobless but full of hope. My destination was clear: return to California and enter the job market as an editor or graphic designer. I kept telling myself, "Only something truly amazing would keep me in Chicago." One month after graduation, the amazing happened. I auditioned for and was accepted into the founding ensemble of the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, a tap and jazz dance company in Chicago.

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Dancing professionally was not something I had been chasing since I was a child, not something I made a lot of sacrifices for nor lost a lot of sleep over. It was, essentially, a dream come true. What I uncovered during four years with JRJP were invaluable lessons and experiences. The biggest surprise was that following my heart is excruciatingly hard. The life of a part-time professional dancer brought more challenges than I expected: how to let myself be vulnerable onstage and off; how to be honest with my emotions so that I can connect with the other dancers and with the audience; how to be good to myself so that I can be good to others; how to fight for something and stay with it when it does not go well at first.

I became a dancer with the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project not only because I love to move but also because I love to move to jazz music. It is this same love for jazz dancing that feeds my photography pursuits. Taking a photograph is like hitting a syncopation — you either get it or you don't. Ultimately, I left JRJP to study photography in Italy so that I could increase my chances of "getting it" —of amassing the skills I needed to capture singular moments of motion and emotion on film. And just as I had grown to love the exhilaration and fear of sharing my emotions with audiences as a dancer, I continue to pursue the production of photographs that can make others stop to revel in them.

Circle me on Google+ if you love dance photography!

15 Things

  1. Marie is not my middle name. (It's Ferrer, my mom's maiden name.)
  2. My two first names are equal in importance. (So please don't call me Anna)
  3. I am taller than my little sister, yet she towers over me when we sit back to back.
  4. My hair grows like a weed. I can go from a-line bob to hula hair in 2 years.
  5. I have an above average internal compass.
  6. Fall is my favorite season because of the cool, crisp air and also because it means I can easily find pumpkin-flavored treats.
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  1. I don't do well in very cold or very hot weather. It is a wonder that I survived in Chicago for eight years, and that I am still homesick for that city.
  2. I suck at all bar games like darts, pool, and Ms. Pacman. Don't even get me started on trivia. If I can look something up, my brain does not hold on to it.
  3. I have a voracious appetite for good books and good movies. However, if you ask me about them a month later, I will look at you with a blank stare. (See above)
  4. That said, I have an excellent memory for things like my first high school locker combination (21-9-19), my dad's first work phone number (213-963-8521), and birthdays of my friends and family.
  5. When I was little, I never brushed my teeth even though I always told my dad that I did. I never had any cavities, so I never got caught.
  6. My first year dancing with Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, I drank Gatorade and ate a PowerBar at every rehearsal. About six months later, I found out I had five cavities.
  7. I have tap danced onstage in Helsinki.
  8. I dropped out of a one-year photography program in Italy after the 1st semester when I realized that spending all my time in the darkroom and computer lab was no way to spend time in Italy.
  9. My favorite number is 17.
Anna Marie froggy jump with balloons
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