Denver Street Photography | 16th St. Mall

It’s another haiku block kind of evening. What strikes me about this shot is the facial expression. To my mind, a person with a shirt like this on should expect some attention, yet it seems as if he is confused as to why I am taking his picture. I get this type of look a lot, although I don’t notice it while taking the shot. Obviously I am attracted to the colorful t-shirt that stands out in the crowd. I am actually admiring his shirt and felt compelled to take a photograph. That is as simple as it gets, the real reason for the image.

These type of expressions really eat at me. I take it very personally when I see a disapproving look somewhere in the crowd while I’m editing after a day of walking. They are always there, and usually there are at least two or three that I can spot scoping me out. I wish I could communicate with them all telepathically and let them know that I mean them no harm, that I’m just a curious human being with a camera trying to figure why we do the things we do. Maybe I am the one with the problem, and it’s all in my head. I’m not telepathic, nor can I read minds. I just assume they are thinking the worst of me, and that notion manifests itself in my brain and takes root in my heart, until I am absolutely convinced that it is true.

It is for this reason that sometimes I will just close my eyes when I am extremely close but want to take the picture and can’t help myself. I just pause, raise the camera, snap the image, and move on as quickly as possible. It’s all about what mental state I am in at the time. The bolder I get, the odder their expression becomes. The odder the expression, the more I take it to heart.

If they smile at me, I feel that sense of joy, that kind of happiness that wells up in your throat. If they cast a suspicious glance, I begin to feel angry, slighted, hurt that they can’t trust me. I guess I’m trying to say that I take all of my images to heart, the good ones, the bad ones, an everything else in between. This image isn’t perfect, in fact I think the only thing in focus is a small H&M bag in the background, but this blog isn’t about selling prints, it’s about my human experience and what it means to me.  I have discovered that I can still feel human connection, even seeing an image in print or on a screen can evoke a physical reaction in our bodies. Maybe that isn’t news to everyone, but it is to me, and I crave those emotions.


Denver Street Photography | 16th St. Mall