Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brave and Strange

Knotty Yarn turned me on to this weird project that Addie's doing. She's photographing a stranger a day. I think that's so brave. I love looking at the photos but it makes me nervous to think about talking to all those strangers and asking to take their pictures.

A couple of weeks ago I ran into some friends who were dismantling an art project in the park. I'd forgotten they were going to be there and I was just walking the dog and had my camera with me keeping my eyes peeled for interesting things.

They were dismantling a piece that one of them had designed and executed with the help of another. The night before we'd seen another of their collaborations in an art show. They got paid for the piece being dismantled because they're "real" artists.

Now, I don't believe that I'm not a real artist or that to be a real artist one must be paid. But I do respond to the sort of class system that's in place for who's getting their art shown where. (For my purposes I'm using art to mean visual, performing or any other kind of art you can think of.) So when they asked me what I was doing there I just said, "Walking the dog." True but leaving the white elephant in the room of my honkingly big old school film camera dangling from my shoulder.

It would have been a great opportunity to take some portraits and to take some interesting close up action shots. They're very photogenic people and they were doing something that was visually compelling. I wasn't brave enough to say, "I'm out walking the dog and taking some pictures." or even to just start snapping away quietly while we chatted and they worked.

I wish I had been braver. I feel like I short changed myself and I hated the way I felt doing it. Any tips on how I can convince myself to be braver?

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