My sister tells me that Im not very good at people pictures.  And its true.  Im not.  She says Im better with flowers, animals, and the like.  She tells me its because I need to LOVE the subject Im taking a picture of, or it wont turn out – that my opinion, and general disgust for humanity, shows – in the pictures.

Ive been thinking about this.

I want to be good at this, I really do.  I want to be able to take good pictures.  I want to capture the moment.  And…everything else an amateur wanna-be would want to do.  But the plain and simple fact is, I don’t understand as much as I need to, in order to get to the point I want to.  I don’t know how many times I have read, and reread, and reread again, the same lines in my book – its there – Im just not getting it.

And so instead I just have fun with it, and sometimes…things don’t turn out how I want, and I get frustrated, and attempt to give up, but usually wind up picking it back up, long after I have forgotten anything useful.  But such is my life.

I was thinking about this not being good at taking peoples pictures…and I think…just maybe…I figured a few things out.

I set out with good intentions, but they always fall through.  When Im focused on a flower – I can get as close as I need.  I can turn it, hold it, pose it, yell at it – and it will just sit there, like a flower does, while I snap away.  But when it comes to people, there is so much more that goes into it, am I wrong?

I also?  Tend to shy back.  When I take peoples pictures, I don’t say “Ok Im new at this, I want to mess around with things a bit” no I take the camera, flip it back to automatic, and hit the button.  “Atleast” I tell myself “They will be in focus.”  When I take pictures…I don’t want to do it with a crowd, and thus, when Im taking some ones picture, I cant focus.

It hit me today, when I was looking at a picture.  When I took this picture, I knew that I wasn’t going to be happy with it, but I knew I needed to take it, to show myself this.  To show myself that it could have HAD potential, and I didn’t seize it.

Or maybe it didn’t.

We were standing in Pikes Place.  David, Amanda and mom were looking at honey.  If you’ve ever been to Pikes, you know that people come in and play random music.  Some sing.  Some just play.  Some do both.  This man was singing his heart out to some country tune while strumming his guitar, and this little boy was lost in the music.

I wondered at first if his parents had just walked off – and he didn’t even know – because he was THAT into it.  He wasn’t paying attention to anything going on around him.  He was standing there.  Watching.  Listening.  Taking it all in.

And I wanted to get the picture.  I wanted to get down on the ground (because Im noting if not awkwardly embarrassing) swing my camera up and focus on the little boy with his heart shaped balloon, giving no care to the world while this man with the long hair played his heart out…seemingly unaware of the world around HIM either.

But I didn’t.  Instead I stood there.  Staring.  Took a quick snap that wasn’t anything close to what I wanted, and caught the mans eye briefly.

I WANTED that picture.

Before long, the little boy looked up, and took off running.  We bought honey.  The man continued to sing.

But I didn’t get it.

And I don’t know why I didn’t.

And instead of embarrassing the heck out of myself, and not even getting what I wanted to begin with (because lets face it – that wasn’t going to turn out anyways!!) I got this.

And to be honest, that is probably all that I would have gotten.  Plus some embarrassment!

4 thoughts on “People pictures?

  1. Sarah says:

    I struggle with taking peoples pictures too. I like the way your pictures turned out.

    1. CJ says:

      Sarah: Thanks for your comment…personally I think you are really great with people pictures 🙂

      Colleen: Ahh yes. Insecure and embarrassed…I often have to wonder tho, especially with complete strangers who you will never see again, WHY?! Something to work on or think about 🙂

      ‘Manda: Yes little boy found his parents – in reality…I dont think he lost them to begin with 🙂 And I read that theory on everyone having a good angle/bad angle in a book just before you started mentioning it too…good point…the problem is FINDING the good angle!! What you say is true, as usual 🙂

  2. Colleen says:

    I always say that I’m better with things that stand still. But what it comes right down to is that I get very insecure and embarrassed when I’m taking photos of strangers (Or not strangers) and I do the same thing… flip to auto and shoot quickly. I’m working on that, but it’s still weird and awkward.

  3. A Manda says:

    Did the little boy find his parents?? Sorry, I get curious with stories that don’t have an ending, I always have ta know what happens. Very interesting thoughts here, another tip for taking people pictures….here it is… ready? ok!

    Everyone has a good angle, and a bad angle, you just gotta find the good angle and snap it! 😀 But yes, you have to love the subjects too, if you love ‘photography, that isn’t quite good enough. Only your love of the ‘camera’ or the love of the ‘art’ will come through then. Same with writing or painting, you can’t love the art itself, you must have something to say in order to write, and you must be passionate about your pictures, that which you are attempting to capture, in order to do photography or paint.

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