A couple of times in the past, other photographers have accompanied me while approaching, and photographing, strangers. I have led the way, introducing myself to people while the other photographers have watched, and get photographs after me.
Last week, there was a role reversal. I worked with another photographer, but he largely led the way, and was VERY comfortable approaching strangers. Usually he did the talking, and I photographed after him, if at all. When I viewed the images on my computer, I was unusually disappointed with the results. True, he photographed in different light than I usually do, but there was something more fundamentally missing.
It was the personal connection with the subject. I pride myself in attempting to gain a bit of rapport in a short time. A bit of established trust can often be ‘read’ in the person’s expression, and I find that most fulfilling. The images might not be technically great, but the connection, as seen in the eyes, is more important to me.
Harmony is one person who was approached by my friend. She was a character, and the subject of blog post #213. See it HERE.
This is my favorite image.
(click to enlarge)
The cheerleader’s smile, nifty hat, and head tilt have led to very nice reviews by other photographers. Still, it seems wanting to me. I do not feel a connection. National geographic photographer Steve McCurry has made this statement: “If you wait, people will forget the camera and the soul will drift up into view”. I don’t wait too long, and I certainly don’t profess to see someone’s soul, but even a brief chat can lead to a level of trust that can be seen in the faces in some of my images.
This video is a collection of about two dozen images in which I felt a personal connection. Can you see it in the expressions? The video is on YouTube; left in a small window, the images look sharp. If viewed full screen, the resolution degrades sharpness. (There is music, please enable your computer’s sound).
Thanks for looking.