As a photographer, one of my favorite things to do is sit in a nice coffee shop somewhere, drink a cup of Joe and engage in some serious people watching. Now i don’t like to stare rudely nor will you find me judging everyone that walks by with those connotative eyes that often glare at you from across one of the 8 corners per square mile that have a Starbucks . I am looking for patterns in human interactions, making predictions of what a person might do next to see if these patterns turn out to be true. I also look at people to see if i can form certain types of groupings of facial characteristics and looks. Not just race but how generic a face is vs. some of the more rare and exotic looks.
I’ve narrowed it down to about 15 different types of facial feature ratios. I’m sure there is more but i’m not going to make it to complicated on myself :) You get the point. I just like to make mental notes of things such as people who wear nicer clothing often walk faster than those who are dressed casually. That one’s pretty self explanatory because the more formally dressed person is likely on their way to a scheduled appointment of some sort. Or the differences in non-verbal communication from someone who bites their nails and someone who doesn’t. Those who do often make less eye contact and seem to be more nervous as a whole in their interpersonal interactions. The thing i get the most of by doing this, is an appreciation for diversity.You watch people laugh, express love, help one another and also when you see people trip, step in a puddle, drop their phone you can relate to their emotions in that situation. Overall i feel as though it improves my connection with the world around me.
When I find someone that is unique or out of place in some way, i am not afraid to ask them to let me take a picture. I’ve come to find out it’s about how you ask that makes all the difference. Of course you don’t want to offend someone making them feel like an oddity that needs documentation but express to them your intentions and personally, i tell them what inspired me about them to take a picture, which is almost always positive. Here are a couple characters who were nice enough to have their picture taken, and one that i don’t think cared nor knew i was present. When i do slip one in when their not watching it can get you a shot you want, but if caught by someone who does not enjoy having their picture taken, it can get unfriendly rather quickly.
The first shot on this list was taken with the camera by my side walking by this woman who seemed to be living on another planet at the time. I didn’t think she would have minded if i pointed it right at her but the shot came out awesome and was very popular at my recent show.