The Strong Do Eat

I love it when I get compliments on my photography from complete strangers. Truthfully, I am never completely satisfied with the level of my work. I have a lot of social interaction issues to get over if I want to take my photography to the next level. The only way I know how to do anything is by jumping right in. I quit drinking alcohol like that about three years ago.

I used to be a six pack a night kind of guy. Being hungover was my natural state. One day something inside of me just clicked, I came to the realization that I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore. I am looking for that a-ha! moment in my photography. I think I may be hindering myself with notions that people just don’t generally like me.

When I hear laughter I automatically assume they are laughing at me. I always get the sense people are sneering at me. I wonder if that has anything to do with years of mental abuse from the kids I went to public school with. Kids are painfully cruel to each other.

“The weak are meat the strong do eat.”― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

That pretty much sums up elementary school through 8th grade. In the eighth grade I finally couldn’t take it any more and beat the hell out of one of my regular tormentors in a bloody, snotty, crying fit of rage. No kid should have to go through that. Ever. Which brings me back to photography.

I want to tackle my fear and beat it into submission until it never comes near me again. I love taking pictures, I’m obsessed with it really. I’m looking for stories to tell. I’m looking for advice. I have ideas. I want to create a series of images of people with strabismus like myself.

I really want to try some nighttime street photography with a flash, but I haven’t purchased an off camera flash yet, and I’m actually a little worried I might get into a fight.

If I can’t get over this social paralysis my photography will never progress. I want to smash this obstacle and create something worthwhile.

I need a story. A reason I can give people who ask me why I’m taking their picture. Something to put them at ease and let them know I am not a threat.

Who knows? Maybe I am overthinking this, but it felt great to get it off my chest. I know what I need to do. I need to be bold and act like I know what I am doing. I need to be the strong instead of the weak.

We are all important, even those of us with low self esteem and mental roadblocks. Being human is complicated.

Life

The Strong Do Eat

Image

29 thoughts on “The Strong Do Eat

  1. If we ever become totally satisfied with our photography there would be something wrong. You’re not the only one who likes to do street photography, but hesitates because it might give offense. Maybe we’re transferring our feelings of being very private people on to others…

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  2. I must say… Everything about this post is beautiful. Your insight, your words, and, of course, the photo at the top. You touch on so many things… I’m so sorry for what you went through as a kid, and it makes perfect sense that that insecurity has followed you into adulthood. I’d agree that all of us feel a little bit hesitant about taking photos on the street. I know I do…

    You say, “I need a story. A reason I can give people who ask me why I’m taking their picture…” It seems to me that, in this post, you just gave us your story. Photography is your passion, and you like to tell others’ stories through images. That there is enough.

    I love the way you ended this. I couldn’t agree more. Yes, everyone is important, and life *is* complicated. That’s part of what makes the human experience beautiful… I guess. I’m cheering for you.

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  3. A tough tale indeed. Nothing hurts me more than seeing a child be cruel to another. I’m glad you made it through to become the natural photog you are now. ) beth

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  4. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    I can assure you, all of us photographers (& artists) have our doubts. We are our own worst critics and I am no less so (than you).
    I guess I had a similar life at school in that I was bullied and ridiculed for wearing thick glasses and being skinny, so perhaps some of us carry a lot of baggage that we really need to get over.

    Thanks for visiting my PhotoBlog. Hope you enjoyed it. You might like to look a little further into my archives to find some more street photography, as I usually do Nature photography.

    Don’t know about the night photography with a flash though – personally I find an ordinary flash too white and glaring and never use one, but then I haven’t exactly done much night photography.

    Look forward to seeing some more of your pics in the future.

    Vicki

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  5. One of my favorite subjects to photograph is children, but people are very cautious and suspicious, and can get very annoyed very quickly! As Madoqua said, I therefore focus more on nature as birds and butterflies don’t get too upset 🙂 I guess it’s a symptom of the time we live in, where so many people (especially children) have been hurt and abused, so it’s quite understandable. I too need to still work out how to approach people. I’ve done it once or twice in the past, and it worked out well, but definitely not my comfort zone!

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  6. The quality of the the photo is excellent reminded me of the work by Ansel Adams. Take what you enjoy some people will object others will love it especially if you promise them a copy.
    Thanks for your honesty.

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  7. Ugh. I saw so much of myself in this entry. Not “ugh” for you…just, ugh.

    When I here people laugh I immediately think the same thing. IT’S NOT TRUE! They aren’t laughing at you. Social anxieties can make it feel that way though. I’ve felt that way since before grade school.

    Do you have a website? Instagram? I’d like to see more of your work. Do you ever feel self conscious when taking photos? Or do you lose yourself in the process, and forget the world might be watching you? I am self conscious when out of my element…and I hate it.

    Thanks for the insightful read!!

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  8. Lisa Vankula-Donovan says:

    You just described my adolescence, minus the part where you got back at them. I was never so brave or possibly pushed that far. Loved the post. I used to work for an events photographer and part of the job was actually stopping people at events and taking their photo. I never got used to it. I do nature, animals, insect structure photography and candids of those I know. I’ve passed up many an opportunity to get that shot of the amazing looking guy with a body covered in tatts and dreads to his knees, and I kick myself every day. And I’m just a tiny unassuming girl. It sounds as if you were like me, an introvert. So we see the shot but that shy side that is afraid of rejection prevents us from asking. My new motto I’m working on is, it never hurts to ask. So some may say no and look at you weird, but there WILL be those that will be chuffed you asked.

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    • I still shoot and I’m gettnig more used to it everyday. I think practice makes perfect in this instance Repetition is key, once you do it enough times it just becomes second nature. Thank you for your great comments as well as following the blog.

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  9. Your photography is beautiful, your story is real, and I think most of us mere mortals can relate and tell our own tale. Truer words were never spoken that being human is complicated and that also describes why people in this society are uncomfortable with why a street photographer might be taking photos of them or their children. People are certainly interesting subjects but they also bring their own ‘drama’ to the photo so in some ways to me a picture with no people is calming and causes me to think about how people would fill the photo. Keep snapping because you have skills.

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  10. So glad you are just “doing it”–getting out there, getting the pictures…and sharing them! Thanks for stopping by “Laura’s Lens” and for the follow! Blessings!

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  11. pi314chron says:

    Love B&W photography and love the way yours tell stories that can’t be told in a 17-syllable haiku. But we keep trying…and are eternally grateful that you do, too……….in tour incomparable photographs! Bravo! Hang in there; the world needs you like never before.

    Thanks for following my haiku blog…with joy I now follow you as well!

    Warmest,

    Ron

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