A number of years ago I had the privilege of attending a workshop with a great inspiration of mine: David Alan Harvey. I came away from that week with a ton of important and subtle insight. One bit of wisdom was “Shoot everything”. This was not in the context of an assignment but in general life. If you see a beautiful scene or moment capture it! Even if there is no professional use for the image, especially if there is no monetary value, get the shot. You never know what it’s real, meaning internal, value could be.
I came across this frame in my archives a while ago. I remember turning away from what i was supposed to be photographing for the client, seeing the composition, shooting it and then getting back to work. Those ten seconds took nothing away from the job and added in this little slice of time.
Somebody told me once that the real trick to photographing the real world is patience. That if you stand in once place long enough something interesting will happen right at your feet. This is pretty much the basis of all documentary and reportage photography. Only you attempt to figure out where and when that interesting thing is likely to happen then you go there and wait. Street photogs know this too. Same deal. Find a target rich environment and get ready to pounce.
A while ago I was out late and was behind the bar at this cool place talking to their master mixologist about how he comes up with new tastes. That’s “bartender” for you beer-and-a-shot folks. Anyhoo there were a few people seated near me and where apparently good friends from the energy coming off of them. I grabbed this frame:
I almost remember what they were talking about but to me there is so much going on here that I don’t want to. I want to imagine and let my mind go wild. No knowing in this instance makes the image even more interesting. The gestures, expressions and the oddness of the moment really get me. This is one of the things that I most love about still images: they hang there forever. We never get to see how this resolves. Come back later on and there is still those two claw like hands, the side-eye and touch of arrogance.
It was super cool that Colorado Public Radio brought me and one of the couples from my Denver In Color book in for an interview the other day on race and the book. You can see the write up and hear the interview on the CPR web page here.