This week, I did some traveling. I took a beautiful photo of the day. But this week was about the other. One of the reasons I’ve been so obsessed with americana photography is because of the amazing diversity that exists within it, right here in our own backyard.
A few days ago I was at a festival in my hometown of Seattle, and I saw a couple of people walking through the festival taking photos of the people around them. So I grabbed my camera, and started taking photos of the people around me as well.
That’s exactly what I was doing. I was taking photos of the people around me, as well as the people in front of me. But my camera was pointing in a circle, and so I was taking photos of the people around me and the people in front of me. Because I was taking photos of people I just knew were there.
When I first started taking my photos, I thought, “this is so random!” But I knew it was the same people from all of my photos. I also knew that the people in front of me were the same people in my photos. I’d never seen people in front of me before, so it’s weird to finally be seeing the same people I’ve been taking photos of before.
What you don’t realize until you actually take photos of the people in front of you is that they’re not the same people you’ve been taking photos of. You were taking photos of the people around you, not the people in front of you.
This is something that I’ve been trying to get more comfortable with in my photography. My photographic style is to use a lot of natural light, but in most of my images I’ll try to get in that light without letting myself or my subjects change their lighting. That’s why I use a lot of my landscapes in natural light as opposed to the bright midday light I’d usually use in my portrait shots.
I think that a lot of people are just used to taking photos in the most natural light they can get. I am not, but I also think that photographers have a tendency to become very literal about their photos. Like if I tell someone that I took a photo of their face in the sun, that doesnt mean that I want to take a photo of them in the sun. I just want to have a photo of them.
This is one of those things that is easier for me to say in the abstract. In the abstract, I’m like, well I took a photo of your face in the sun, that doesnt mean I want to photograph you in the sun, but that means I want to have a photo of you in the sun.
I mean, you can take a photo of someone and say “Look, I took a photo of them in the sun”. But in the abstract, I think its kind of lazy. Its not like I have an agenda. Like, Im just trying to be helpful. I dont want to take a photo of someone and say, “Now look at this face in the sun”. I dont want to take a photo of someone and say, “Now look at these eyes in the sun”.
I can’t argue with that. I think it might be something that would be very useful to have around, but at the same time I also think it might be very difficult and even dangerous to implement. We all have our own idea of what we want to promote and what we would like to see in the world.