We spend our childhoods learning the rules and how to fit in , we then as teenagers rebel a little against the establishment, our parents and whatever else gets in the way of our personal, quite often crazy life choices before going full circle and accepting the full responsibility and the inevitability of adulthood and the rules ! …… Unless ?
A few exceptions to the above principles are possibly madness , criminality or creativity , creativity is hopefully the one that those of you reading this are suffering from . A large portion of creativity within your soul is without doubt a blessing but it can also be a curse, especially if you want to fit in and just get on with the day to day. The ability to see “the other way” a “better way” is quite often unsettling to others and a pain in the ass if you possess a level of integrity that insists you must be true to yourself. !
I was reminded of seeing things in a different way to others yesterday as I made a capture of a crowd watching a event , as they looked beyond me I found them much more interesting than the Civil War Re-enactment that was going on over my shoulder . Not only did this crowd feature folk of different genders, ages and religions , it also appeared to feature a lady from the 1700’s which is never a bad thing for a 21st century photographer trying to create a project that deals with the here and now , as historical context is always welcome !
The point I want to make today, is that sometimes the reaction to the action can be more informative / entertaining than the event itself , as a street photographer looking the wrong way on a regular basis will payoff , these crowd scenes of spectators are part of a Street Photography tradition reaching back to the 1960’s New York Parades where the masters of our Art-Form developed their approach and skills . On one level these crowd shots are all a bit samey but thankfully as the times change these scenes become fascinating barometers of the social landscapes they reflect as the people featured over the decades adapt and change.
Don’t be afraid to reject the pressures to create clear narrative in your captures, embrace the power of ambiguity in your pictures and let the viewer interpret the image for themselves , don’t spoon feed the viewer everything , give them just enough to kick start their appetite and do some of the work , let the viewer find their own “meaning” !
Street Photography is no place for those who belong to the herd , a single minded personal approach will pay creative dividends to those who make new paths and reject the tracks established by the crowd !
If you want your pictures to be different you might need to face the wrong way metaphorically and literally !
Keep It real !