Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Few Rules I Live By

As I can imagine people wondering...yes, I do take a lot of cues from Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York...but most of the 'rules' I follow when I'm out and about taking pictures of people really do make for common sense...

For example, I try to never approach someone from's just wrong on multiple levels. Scaring or startling someone does not foster the 'sweet moment' to capture magic with my camera.

I also never photograph children without asking for permission from the adult figure who's with them.  I met this little girl last fall in the 9th and 9th area. She was with her dad...she had such a cheeky personality, I just had to ask her dad to let me photograph her. He looked at me a little askance but didn't mind after I told him what I was doing. The result was just precious...I love that, with children, you never really know what you're going to get.

She was as genuine as she could be when I asked her, 'May I take your picture, sweetheart?' She replied, 'Could you make it a movie because my daddy is getting coffee.'

Although I have been asked on several occasions, I haven't yet taken the opportunity to photograph anyone I know. Something tells me that there should be something of a gap of anonymity between me and my subjects. I think if I photograph someone I know, the mystery and the spontaneity of strangers interacting with one another might be lost...the jury's still out on that one, though.

I'm anxious and constantly concerned about diversity in my portraits. I have received several messages that question the seeming lack of diversity in the subjects I photograph. When I go out and start beating the streets, I never have a proactive or specific goal regarding who I shoot. I just get what I get...but I think it might be time to be more proactive. I think it might be a good idea, for example, to visit a retirement village or a nursing home to get those special and fading perspectives of the older people in Salt Lake City...words of wisdom and advice. I've also wanted to visit different churches in Salt Lake City and to capture more of the different colors of religion in our community. Anyway, there are lots of ideas whirling about in my head all the time...stay tuned to see how they play out!

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