There is a Youtube channel I have been enjoying lately by Bryan Birks, and in his videos he talks a lot about a project he is working on of classic cars and their owners. I always find the videos very inspiring because one thing I have mostly shied away from is taking portraits or any photos of people.
While I am not really interested in taking photos of classic cars, I have made it a goal to try to notice them when we are out and about. Bryan has made a good point of showing that a car is a great talking point if you want to gain someones interest and trust before taking their photo.
You may remember a while back I wrote an article called Creativity and Managing Mental Health. In it I talk about a time I walked around a neighborhood and found a classic Mustang that I wanted to shoot. I was very scared that the owner would come out and yell at me for taking these photos.
However, after I got the photo, I was so happy with the results and I wished I could’ve met the owner so that I could have learned the story behind the car. Since that experience, I have hoped to have a second chance. Recently, I did.
Shooting Outside my Comfort Zone
Kelsey and I were out and about running errands, and of course I had a camera with me. I am glad I did because we came upon a similar mustang in a parking lot.
It caught my eye as we pulled into our space, so I quickly grabbed my camera and got out of the car. The owner was in a rush so at first I hesitated to say anything, but when he saw I was wanting to photograph the car, he smiled big and said go for it.
I then said, can I get a photo with you next to it? He was surprised and said you want a photo of me? I said, “Sure, it’s your car isn’t it?” He seemed flattered and posed for me. Also, he loved that I was taking the photo on film. He had a smile from ear to ear even when he came back out of the store and saw me with my camera again.
While I know the photos aren’t the best because there is a busy highway behind the subjects, and cars on either side, I still love these photos. That is because of the story that I won’t soon forget, and the practice it gave me to hopefully start to take more photos of people. It pushed me into shooting out of my comfort zone.
I have always been very shy, and suffer with social anxiety, but I think the pandemic and the tense social climate in our country right now has heightened that for a lot of people. There is hope though. I think this example is proof of that. I went from being terrified to take a photo of a car in a driveway because I didn’t want to talk to a person, to asking someone to stop and pose for me.
How do you feel about asking strangers to pose for you? What is something out of your comfort zone? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.
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