I’ve heard some photographers say that if you’re not photographing people, you might as well not be a photographer. Given the wide range of photography genres I personally think that’s a bit narrow-minded. Of course, I probably think that because I don’t really like photographing people.
I’ve seen some amazing photographs of people, and I think the most interesting ones are usually the “average” people. Not the beautiful people. People with character, with experience in their eyes. People living lives so far removed from our own that they’re exotic and interesting.
I can appreciate these photographs. It seems that I don’t have the knack of taking them.
I’m fine with that. I’ve shot some weddings before (second shooter) and those are fun – stressful, nuts, but fun. It’s a different atmosphere than trying to shoot a candid portrait of someone you don’t know – someone you met on the street. It takes a special kind of “people person” to pull that off – and frankly, I’m a little too introverted to do so.
I certainly hate being in front of the camera so it’s difficult for me to believe someone else would be ok with a random person shooting them. And then there’s the whole model release bother – we can’t show a photograph of someone – a recognizable photograph – without obtaining their permission. Have you ever tried to walk up to someone and convince them to have their picture taken? “and oh, by the way sir, please sign this release form.”
Perhaps that’s something I should work on – a challenge for myself. It’s something interesting to try, but frankly, I’m perfectly happy photographing onions. They don’t complain. They stay where you put them. They don’t get bored with you mucking around with a light meter for a while before you even click the shutter. And they only make you cry if you cut them open.