I read somewhere the best photographer is the one present to capture a moment. Since the advent of smart phones along with Instagram, their perfect companion, me, a person before clueless about photography, has become someone with criteria about taking good pictures.
Today as I am getting down from my car at my job’s parking lot. 8:30 a.m. I hear the noise of a blowing machine and see a pile of leaves in the ground, immediately the urge to capture it for Instagram ensued. I pulled out the android, pressed the camera icon, kneelled, then took a shot of the piled leaves.
As I am taking the picture I hear a strong sound getting closer and I turn to it when a worker with a blowing machine turns the building corner.
“That would be a great picture to take, a picture of him blowing the leaves” my inner photographer suggested.
I have come to admire street photographers that capture strangers.
But not voyeuristic shots, on the contrary, shots in which the subject becomes aware of the picture being taken, because asking someone for a picture goes against the nature of our daily behaviors and photographers who specialize in that kind of a shot are sort of social interaction wizards.
But I didn’t act on my inner photographer’s urge.
“It’s too crazy”
“What is he going to think?”
“co-employees are about to arrive and will see me taking a picture of him”
My defeated self turned around and started walking towards the building entrance, this not being the first time I rejected my inner photographer’s voice for the same reason. Maybe after several tries of that inner voice, my resistance succumbed, I turned around, and started walking towards the man using the blowing machine.
The man surprisingly raised his head.
“Can I take a picture of you?”
“Sure” , he said, hesitating.
“But let’s do it there where all those leaves are piled up” I said.
“OK”, he agreed.
We then both started walking towards the leaves.
“Thanks, you are making my day”, I told him as we stepped ahead.
Humbly, and surprisingly for me, with no judgment or curiosity towards my request he replied “Sure, my pleasure”
He then stood beside the leaves and I corrected his position to get better framing…I took the shot. Then I asked for his e-mail, he kindly gave it to me. We shook hands and parted our ways and as I walked towards the office building entrance for the second time that morning a sense of accomplishment filled me along with a burst of creative energy. Then before the elevator to my office floor closes a co-worker enters it quickly and after a moment asks me:
“What were you doing taking the picture of that guy”
“That’s what Instagram does to you”, I replied.