Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 36: Candid Strangers

I went to a wedding this past weekend in Michigan. I was hoping to get some good photos, but it just wasn't working. The area we were in wasn't great for photos and the weather was dreary and there were no leaves on the trees. Just not very good all around.

I decided I need to try something new. I've always wanted to do street photography and take candid photos of strangers. The only problem is, this terrifies me. I'm a pretty shy person, and I find it really hard to take photos of friends, let alone strangers. But I decided I needed to get over this fear and just do it. So, in the Flint airport on the way home, I decided to give it a shot.

I was still pretty cautious and mostly took photos of people I knew probably couldn't see me, but I still learned a ton. When I do landscape photography I've learned that every photo needs a subject. You can't just have a beautiful landscape and call that your subject. There has to be something else that draws you into the photo and then the landscape is what makes it beautiful. I'm realizing the same thing with street photography. The person you're taking the photo of isn't the subject, you need something more, an emotion, an interaction with another person...something (still trying to figure out what that something is).

When you take photos of your friends I think it's easy to get lazy. You treat them as your subject and people like the photos because they know the people. But show the photos to a stranger and they're probably not interesting at all. Taking photos of strangers forces you to take that extra step to make your photos interesting and tell a story. I think coming to that realization will make my photos much better in the future.

This was the ballsiest photo I took, he was sitting at a table right across from me and could have looked over at any second. It was kind of exhilarating. 

This lady just looks kind of bored. Something else is needed to make this photo interesting. 

I really liked the sun in this one and the color of her hair. Still not really a subject though. 

I think that this one is halfway to being a good photo. This guy is interacting with the bartender, but the guy seated at the bar is blocking her. I think if I was able to get her in the photo as well it would have been much more interesting. 

This is my favorite. This guy was pretty photogenic and I managed to catch him in a smile. I really love candid shots of smiling people. People usually look so miserable, especially in airports, that it's nice to see a smile every now and then. 

This is a random shot from the wedding I was at. The ceremony was outside, but the reception was held in this heated barn. Pretty nice.

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