Saturday, March 17, 2018

Shooting strangers...again

Doing just fine
Okeechobee, FL
December 2017
The scene: The Fort Drum Plaza in the middle of Florida's Turnpike. We've stopped here en route to our final destination a few hours south of here. We've been on the road for the better part of two days, and I've been trying to fast-shoot the fleeting moments of the journey when I'm not at the wheel.

I'm admittedly punchy as we finish our last meal of the trip and exit the building on our way back to the car. It's our final stop before we arrive, and we're all feeling pretty good about how easy it's been so far. I spot a lone woman ahead of us, and before my inner filter tells me to leave her be, I'm reaching for my smartphone and stabbing at the camera app icon. I've been doing this ever since we left home, stealing visual snippets of strangers without them even knowing I was there.

I realize I'm probably stretching the line of what is/is not photographically acceptable in this day and age. Sure, it's a public space, so anything should go. But still, I figure most folks would feel a little off if they knew they were on the receiving end of a spontaneous photo shoot from afar.

But still I take the shot. Because it's always been who I am and what I do. Because this moment is part of the story, and will become another memory among many that we're trying to lay down on this much-needed time away from life back home.

As I tuck the phone back in my pocket, I wonder who she is, where she's going, and how much gumption it takes to take on life when your body doesn't want to cooperate. I silently wish her a safe journey and a good life as we leave this place behind and continue on our own way. I hope her story, too, is a happy one.

Your turn: Do you take photos of strangers in public places? Why/why not?

No comments: