Not just an image recorder, but a conversation piece too!

Yesterday morning after taking some pre-dawn pictures, I decided to go down to Waikiki Beach and do some sunrise shots there. There is a bridge that passes over the Ala Wai Canal, and as I drove over this bridge the view was beautiful. I pulled over at the nearest street and set up there on the side of the bridge.

I fired off a few shots before a guy walked past me, turned around, and introduced himself. He asked me about my shooting--if I did it often, what I liked doing, and then he started talking about how great of a scene we were at. I agreed, watching the deep red morning sun rays disappearing and thinking to myself that I wished he'd keep moving so I could get back to shooting.

It was then that I realized, how selfish of me! So what if I missed it? There's always tomorrow. So this guy and I talked for another 45 minutes or so. Turns out he's in the Army. We chatted about random military stuff and world events, and I enjoyed his company. It's a nice change from feeling completely alone and vulnerable on a pitch black night at 3am, something I've been doing frequently the past few days. (See my last couple of posts and you'll understand why.)

In the meantime, there were several people crossing the bridge who in passing commented on the nice camera rig I had. There was one guy who said, "I bet you get some pretty nice shots with that thing!" Well, yes, I can get good shots with just about any camera. As he rode off I thought to myself that I wouldn't look at a Picasso and say, "I bet he had really great brushes."

I was approached by one man on a bicycle who seemed to be in an intense hurry. He asked if I lived around here, and if I had a card or a phone number. What a day to not pack my business cards! As I was writing down my phone number for him, he showed me a photo of the kinds of photographs he would need done. Some basic commercial product shots. Okay, cool, I thought, I just landed a job standing here on a bridge. I have yet to hear back from him, so I'll see what comes of that. But I definitely have my business cards in my gear bag now!

I made an important observation this morning. First, a camera in public seems to be less intimidating than I thought. I have shyed away from photographing the general public because I let myself believe that everyone hates having some guy walking up and shoving a camera in their face. (Sure, the world has its share of perverts, so it's understandable that people would be cautious. That's why I absolutely do not photograph children whose parents I don't know or have permission from.) I don't think that's the case at all, though; a lot of people I saw yesterday morning were intrigued by the camera and, had I asked them, probably would have let me shoot them. Sometimes I'm squeamish about asking people, especially those who "no-speaka-Engrish." Maybe I should just try asking more people. Try handing out business cards before I shoot. I really want to include people in my images, and I guess that's the only route: go for it.

Back to my point of this post: Cameras are conversation pieces. And in a market where word of mouth is invaluable, I feel good that I made a few friends (and a possible client) yesterday.

Do you shoot a lot of people images? How do you approach someone in public for a shot? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding stuff . . . great minds think alike!!! I look forward to seeing how far this both takes us! Best of luck and keep up the great work!

    -pmk

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