Akilles and street photography courage

I think I have started to understand some (more) things about me myself and I and street photography. Like, oh my, I have a lot to learn and practice. Like where to walk and begin when you hit the streets. I thought warming up and slowly getting closer in a kind of stealth mode was a good idea. Focusing more on objects and open space where people may “happen” to get caught.

Like when I first started some months ago and was shooting pigeons to feel more comfortable with my camera surrounded in crowds of people.

But not. This strategy doesn’t work anymore. This workaround is definitely only slowing me down and makes me think too much. What I think I need is chock treatment and just start shooting and don’t reflect a shit. I’m too worried about others reaction. Not worried as in worried what they may think about me stealing their face.

My worries are their feelings that I may cause them to feel when I point my camera at them. I don’t want to feel responsible for eventually making other feel uncomfortable. My own mood and comfort I just care less about. I actually think I would handle an upset reaction without big issues. I think I suffer from to much compassion, but not in a logical sense.

So I really need to work on this habit that occupies my mind and instinctively makes me avoid what I’m supposed to do. I mean, whats the meaning of street photography if you instinctively try to avoid the situation. Compassion is basically nothing but a really good quality, but to much only cause problems with yourself and of no practical use, for anyone.

Beginning too safe and gently is a delusion that only feeds and strengthen this behaviour. What I need is the complete opposite, a slightly knockout. Something that makes me stunned and then wakes me up less careful to take the fight.

Fall seven times, rise eight.

This is my first serious and only assignment I hereby need to work at and to conquer. That includes to make loads of shitty photos and don’t care about what I shoot. Just shoot and shut up to get in touch with my photographic ego and behave instinctively instead of hesitating and stop feeling others imaginary feelings.

Today I was really pissed at myself and my inability to achieve anything of interest. For an hour or so I just walked around like a lost fool. Happily I was able to put myself together fairly enough after a while. And enough to actually capture some nice shots that made me satisfied. I’m not welcome home before at least a couple of decent shots.

Even if I know that most people won’t bite, either with their eyes, mouth or probably never physical. I hesitate just because of this vanishing small insignificant role this split second of a lifetime plays. People are interacting with feelings all the time, this is nothing but one of millions of interplay between humans that occurs every day, just by seeing each other.

So shut up and shoot. There’s nothing to be afraid of but yourself (myself – I’m talking to my self here. But feel free to feel the same).

I actually had one accidental full confrontation today. And it ended very nice. A woman that was taking a photo of her dog and both was looking at the phone in between them. Of course I just missed the moment in a blink of an eye. And in that same second she saw me and turned around. It went a photo of that instead. A nice shot in another way. I felt guilty and needed to explain myself, and said that they looked so nice together in this moment that I just had to make a photo of it. But she didn’t knew that I just missed it.

She smiled and just said ok without any trace of unpleasant feelings about that, rather satisfied by my attention. Afterwards I regret that I didn’t asked for permission to make new shot of what I actually wanted to catch. But I just got so pleasantly surprised that I never thought about it. I really needed this opening. So I say thank you destiny for this nice moment.

This also proves the extended quality and deeper meaning and aspects of street photography. That street photography is, or can be so much more than just taking photos of people – the actual meeting. Eye contact, body language, face expressions, comments, questions. What scares you most may actually be what enlighten you most. Probably sometimes more than the making of the photo itself. I need to learn and understand that.

Life is full of possibilities just waiting to be done.


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