Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 184: Being Brave(r)

OYLPA Day 184: Being Brave(r), originally uploaded by klodhie.

"Excuse me, hi! This is really random, but...,".

Every so often I'll see a person that I know I just have to photograph, and in most previous cases, I chickened out and then regretted my personality. I still regret not photographing that man in the yellow cafe, and that's a picture that cannot come back. Yet that regret is also an important feeling, in a way, simply because it IS a feeling, and so it makes me think and reflect. The result of not capturing that man that afternoon, and hearing the advice of friends, is that I now push myself harder, and that is worth quite a bit.

While I was studying some Urdu this afternoon, the lovely lady you see here walked in at one point, and immediately had a presence, even amongst all those other people in the coffee shop. She walked in smiling, saying hello to those she recognized, and had a confident stride about her. Accentuating this was her outfit, each and every piece a statement, from the brown linen skirt to the cream silk scrunchy blouse, the white pearls, sunglasses, and sunhat, the cell phone pouch with an "I Voted" sticker on it, and the whistle next to it.

She intrigued me further then: when anyone else might have seen a coffee shop with no empty tables/chairs next to the one open outlet, Karen confidently yet kindly asked another man if she could squeeze in a table next to his, and she quickly dragged a table from the other end of the shop to the spot she knew she wanted. She then grabbed a chair and dragged it over as well, plugged in her laptop, and got to work. When anyone else might have just complained and left, Karen made things work for herself, and she didn't seem to care if anyone else would say anything. For that I admired her.

Karen was one of those people I just knew I wanted to try to capture, and while I knew that my photos would be far from perfectly exposed and focused portraits (as my nerves still tend to make me forget other critical aspects of what I'm doing), I wanted to try to push myself and go up to her so that I could say to myself that that earlier regret came to some good. And indeed, this time the nerves were there, but less; the time it took to convince myself to just simply go up to her was a bit long, but less. I ended up becoming a little braver, capturing a person with a big, interesting presence, and simply meeting another human being whom I probably would otherwise have never interacted with.

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