Monday, February 16, 2009

Taking Photos of Strangers.

So, I totally wussed out on this one, this weekend. I was supposed to take 3 photos of complete strangers that I met on the street. I thought about it for the 2 days leading up to the weekend, and thought to myself, how do I do this? I'm not particularly shy, but I guess I psyched myself out. I kept thinking about it, but when I did, I thought about how I would react if a stranger asked me if they could take my photo. Ironically, I hate having my picture taken, so I would say no. However, as I sit here writing this, I think to myself, that wouldn't be so bad, someone saying no, and me moving on. Whats really so scary about that? It's not that I put off the assignment, or that I didn't care. I was actually really stressed out about it all weekend. I even decided that since I couldn't work myself up to do it during the day, I figured that I would take my camera out to the bar with me and maybe talk to some people while smoking outside or something. That didn't happen. I think it was a mix between my nerves and not seeing anyone particularly interesting, like having a cool outfit or an interesting hairstyle I could compliment before asking to take their photo, which is what I figured my strategy would be. So, I still plan on doing this, next weekend, as I really want to get over this hurdle, because I know if I do it successfully once, it won't freak me out so much, and I'll look back at this blog and think about how I was stressed out about nothing.

What seperates me from other photographers/people with cameras.

I guess what sets me apart from other photographers is my passion for photography. I have been into photography for my whole life, but things really changed after being at CCAD and learning what I have learned in my time here. I remember when I first got my Nikon D50, which was a week after I broke my neck. I couldn't do much, so I spent days reading my camera manual and learning all the functions by taking about 4,000 photos of my cats, who I spent my time with, being that I couldn't do much else. I did the same when I traded up for my Nikon D80. I read the Nikon manual, and I read about what settings other photographers used to figure out what I liked the best. I feel that an important part of being a photographer is really knowing your camera/equipment, and it's possibilities and limitations. Another thing that may set me apart from photographers is that I can't not have a camera on me at all times. All the time, whether I'm walking/driving/riding/out and about, I look at everything around me and think of what would make a great photograph. I guess I just look at the everyday and see how it can translate through my camera. I can't go much longer that 4 days without using my camera, whether I shoot something far away and new or if I shoot my cats in my back yard, I just need to shoot. Which I guess brings me to my last point about what may seperate me from other photographers. Ohio. I love Ohio, and I love it's history, and it's back roads and small towns. I especially love Southeastern Ohio, and it's crumbling half empty towns. I spent all of last summer, every Sunday driving to these towns and photographing them. I guess it's to preserve some images of these towns that just seem to get worse and worse everytime I go to them, and with this economy, they are just going more downhill. But I need to be there, with my camera and document these places before they are totally forgotten. So, these things may make me a unique photographer, or they may not, but these are some of the things that do define me as a photographer.