It's amazing the power inspiration can have.
I've been sitting idle on my photography goals for a while now. I've been taking pictures, but I haven't been taking the risks I need to become a better photographer. It's easy to stay home and take photos of my own kids, or take pictures of inanimate objects. There isn't any fear involved for me in capturing those images. But more often than not, its boring.
Recognizing my need to be inspired and get a firm kick in the pants to get off my duff, I picked up some books from the library. I wasn't very intentional about the books I got. I just picked up what was available on the shelves at my tiny neighborhood library. Coincidentally, the three books I chose are all about women photographers. I'm really enjoying reading about the rebellious Berenice Abbott. While her photographs themselves aren't particularly inspiring to me, her spirit and her way of doing things her own way is fantastic. She didn't follow trends. She went against the grain. She took risks.
It's helpful to see that I'm not alone in being afraid to have people see me in action. Says Abbott, "I was shy about setting up my camera in NewYork. The first time I tried it I packed up and went home. But I knew I had to do it and I made myself come back." People made fun of her, with her short hair and slacks in the 1920s, but she learned to ignore them.
This is the spirit and energy with which I approached my photography yesterday. I just got out there and did it.
I warmed myself up by taking some self portraits in a conspicuous place with people walking behind me.
Then I dove in, learning quickly which angles and techniques would work best to stay unnoticed, helping me to capture people uninhibited.
It felt amazing to be out doing what I've wanted to do for so long. My photos aren't anything groundbreaking, but that wasn't the objective yesterday. It was to take risks and get comfortable. And since I was feeling good, I went ahead to the next step.
A man was in his backyard and there were puppies everywhere. I stopped to take a few photos and then I called to the man and asked if I could take a picture of him with his dogs. He said yes, came over, opened the gate and let me in. Just like that! It was so easy and he was so friendly, I found myself at ease.
He isn't a breeder. Just a man with two dogs that had puppies. He's lived here for 20 years and seen the neighborhood change dramatically during that time. He buys his dog food in bulk at WinCo and mixes it with hamburger and those puppies come running. He's going to keep one puppy and give the rest away, or sell them, or however it plays out. His name is Charles.
This was a good day.
Update: Tomorrow I'll post the still shots from this session.