I am slightly manic when it comes to taking pictures. My Lightroom catalog has almost 40,000 images. I am not even sure where to begin. I’m interested in everything. I have all sorts of projects in my head, but I keep putting those on hold to capture more images. I feel like I need to reign myself in.
The problem is, I have a life. I can’t go out every single day and take photographs. I have to schedule time and make special arrangements to be able to get away and be on my own. When I am on a photo walk, I am taking pictures of everything I can, just trying to squeeze it all in before I have to get back to my duties as a Dad.
People’s reaction to me taking pictures in public is odd. They stare at me like I’m crazy for walking around with a camera. They cast suspicious glances, and unapproving looks in my direction. It’s like the camera shows me who the kind souls are, as well as who to avoid. In my observations of people throughout my images, I have noticed that there are a large majority of unhappy people in society.
I can’t help but wonder if that has something to do with me. Is there something I am doing wrong behind the camera? Should I smile more often, or engage them more directly? I’m not sure. I’m still searching for something. I really want to get honest and candid representations of the people I see.
These days, it seems like the whole world is on edge. People see a guy with a backpack and a camera and instantly think that something bad is going on. I guess the Terrorists won, because we are a nation living in fear. I was taking pictures at a parade, and ended up watching this guy inform the officer next to him that there was a dirty photographer taking pictures of him. This is one of those images where maybe I think it is better than it actually is, because I am emotionally attached to it. I love this picture, because I know why the cop is looking at me that way. I watched the guy next to him casting me suspicious looks, nodding his head in my direction. I just waved at them both, took a couple more snaps, got up and kept walking.
I’ve even gone so far as to trim my beard, and make an attempt to look as approachable as possible. I can’t change my natural physical appearance. I’m always going to be “that guy with the wonky eye”. I’m used to it, but it still eats at me just a little bit when I see people staring or laughing about it.
That’s what is great about photography. I get to close one eye, I get to be the one looking at everyone else, instead of everyone else looking at me all the time. I don’t have to hang my head and stare at the ground with a camera to my face. I can hold my head up high. This is why I love Photography.