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.

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Denver Street Photography | 16th St. Mall

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11 thoughts on “Denver Street Photography | 16th St. Mall

  1. The interesting thing with this guy is that if he had raised his eyes along with his eyebrows he would look like the picture on his T-shirt – do you think he chose the shirt subconsciously or through recognition? Good shot! Photos may not capture our soul but they do catch expressions!

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  2. I love this style of photography — it’s honest and truly captures a moment in time. Working as a photojournalist, it’s the style I have adopted and that I use the most. Though it’s not something I do regularly, I’ve shot several weddings, and I always explain in advance: “I’m not your typical wedding photog. If you want traditional, I’m not your guy. If you want a photojournalist approach, I’ll be there.”

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  3. Thank you for following my blog and looking at my posts. It gives me the opportunity to come and see yours. Your photography is real but your heart is so evident in the way you speak and try to put all of it into your various methods of expression and communication. I am really enjoying my journey through your photos and words.

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    • Practice makes perfect, that’s what someone always says, right? I think it is harder for me to take the shot then it is for the person who is being photographed, or me it is an internal struggle more than anything. I know for a fact I could get better results if I could turn my brain off to the self doubt.

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  4. Jeremy,

    I got my start in photography doing street photography. I couldn’t help but continue reading/perusing your blog and then I came upon this certain post. So honest, open and raw. Your words capture the exact emotions I too go through when shooting and editing. Do these people really hate me for simply being so curious and wanting to explore? Somehow, shooting these people in their day-to-day activity, without even knowing who they becomes very personal, and I completely agree that I wish there was a way to simply let all of them know it is merely an exercise in discovery and curiosity, not that I am trying to intrude on their own lives or privacy and that there is no need to hate. Thanks for being so open about the true art that is behind your photography passion. Wish you well buddy, and maybe I will see you on the streets of Denver, shooting. Be calm and strong. – Alexander Johnny

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    • Thanks! I appreciate your comment. I love challenging myself and discovering new things, street photography really gives me that feeling of actually “doing” something, being a participant in our society. Thanks again for stopping by the blog and checking out my work.

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  5. I crave those connections, too, and am sensitive like you. Keep on.
    This guy’s shirt and your comment cracked me up, too. Sometimes I have to remind myself that, while in the moment I might feel awkward snapping someone’s photo or writing in the middle of a crowd, or whatever, the end result is always worth it.

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  6. Hey no problem Jeremy. It is very challenging and sometimes takes stepping out of one’s comfort zone for sure. That’s an awesome way of looking at your work. Great breakdown. Keep on keeping on man. Looking forward to more photos. I loved your suite of images on the light rail especially, because they have a romantic view of the rail, which I take so much, it often turns to the mundane and that really shed a fresh light on it for me. Thanks.

    Do you plan to do any prints or hang any in the city at all?

    Peace,

    A

    P.S. I agree with Jessica above as well wholeheartedly. Well said girl. Thing is though, the end result is great and well worth the effort, but isn’t that whole process of stepping out there and really testing yourself, and doing the work just as rewarding and foundational? Take care.

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      • Oh i know how that goes for sure. Those small shows are the best. Love the local art. Sounds fun man congrats. Keep in touch man. Let me know what you got going on with your work. I am trying to connect with artists in the area since I am new and love your vibes. Peace man. -A

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