Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Photography class musings

So I am taking a photography class, and the lab teachers were remarking about how everyone hated that week’s assignment:

Take a roll (40-45 pictures) of three people interacting. They shouldn’t be looking at you, if the people in the picture are looking at you, it should be two people in the picture (that would be the two people + you = three interacting). The kicker is that the people couldn’t be friends or family and couldn’t be strangers.


It ended up being the best possible week for me to do this assignment, as my sister’s baby shower was this past Saturday. Plenty of people that I knew a little bit through her, and via the church, but that aren’t people that I “would have over to dinner at my house” which was the test of whether the person was a friend or family member.

I would suppose that most people don’t like this assignment because it makes them uncomfortable to take the pictures – which is the point that the teacher is trying to get across to people: that you are only as uncomfortable as you make yourself in these situations. If you simply act as if you belong there/should be taking photos, then most people do not question you.

For me, the answer is a bit different. I mean, I felt like a bit of a creeper taking pics of people I hardly know, but mostly because I had to frame up the shots SO MUCH because usually I was taking a pic of only three people in a much larger group, so I had to frame the other people out of the shot, wait until someone moved their hand out of the way and then snap my pics. But mostly I am mostly comfortable with taking shots regardless of the situation.

The teacher asked if I liked the assignment. I said no, he asked why and I replied "I don't mean to be a snob, but I really don't care to have pictures of random strangers. Why do I care about people who I am not friends or family of? I will just confuse myself at the Old Folks Home 50 years from now, trying to remember all these random people that I never knew in the first place!"

Seriously? For me, the best shots are those that bring out the beautiful things in the people I know and love. Without that, they’re just random shots that don’t hold as much emotion or fun for me.