This spring I signed up for an in-depth year long photography course. Something I am very much looking forward to, and really need to hone my skills and prepare me for the business side of my art.
Right off the bat, assignment No. 1: take a portrait of a STRANGER. Yeeessh! Throw us right in the deep end why don’t ya! Now, people who know me might think I am an outgoing person, however in reality I am quite reserved. I like to keep to myself, I would rarely strike up a conversation with a stranger. So for me, this type of an assignment is quite a challenge.
On top if it I got a late start to the program and find myself behind on two assignments. So today, determined to get caught up, I jumped in the car and I drove straight to the skate park. The urban graffiti on that wall is an amazing backdrop for portraits and I knew it would be the perfect spot for a stranger shot.
While I was driving, she started. That little voice inside my head was saying “Uh, why are you going to the skate park? Why not just look for a sweet old lady sitting on a park bench, she would be easy!” “This assignment is supposed to be a challenge right?” the other voice said “What do you gain by going the easy rout? You signed up to push myself. So push yourself!” and no, I do not believe I am hearing actual voices in my head…. at least, I don’t think so.
Anyways, while at the park I started shooting the new sections of the wall. I met Ty and his buddies skating. I introduced myself, explained what I was doing and why. He was more than willing to let me take photos of him skating. I got a few shots and then asked him for a portrait in front of the wall. He seemed a little uncomfortable at first, to which I said I was also uncomfortable asking – this is what the assignment is after all. He relaxed a little bit and ended up being happy to oblige. Easy as pie. Guess what, I got a killer portrait.
What was I worried about? I need to start breaking down these boundaries I have set for myself. I need to stop listening to that little voice in my head, the negative one. She is just trying to hold me back.