Doug

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Harmony, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Harmony

    Harmony TPF Noob!

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    This photo is not good in any sense of the word. I was taken with a dinky point and shoot (yes, I say dinky. Really. It was 90 bucks, is made of plastic, and has a focal range of 6mm-12mm. (and that’s in point and shoot focal length)) The upside is that it’s light, and it was all I had at the time.

    The reason I’m posting this up is because I wanted to give the guy justice.

    This is Doug. He’s a busker. I wanted to take a picture of him, but couldn’t bring myself up to summon the nerve. (with my P&S, you actually really do have to shove the camera into the person’s face) I finally did, and we bought him a coffee. I only managed to take four pictures because we got to talking!

    He used to be a druggie and an alcoholic, until a guy picked him up off the streets and he got into freighting. He went to jail a couple of times for his drug use until he got off it, and is now a mentor (after 19 years) with the 12 step program, helping younger kids get off drugs. He’s retired now, and used to busk with his buddy, who died last year. He wrote and performed a song for me about his buddy. We also talked A LOT about country music (he’s a fan) and about Jessie Ferrel (who I didn’t know about until that night). He grew up in a family of eleven, and rides a scooter around (which we don’t allow in streets here in Vancouver.) Apparently, he’s been pulled over a bunch by police because of it. We talked about how the first and the last thing you say to a cop is “yes sir” (especially when they’ve all got tasers nowadays!)

    The thing that surprised me the most is that if I hadn’t gathered up the nerve to talk to him, I would have missed out on a great conversation.

    I guess I just wanted to inspire others to get out and photograph on the street, even if no good pictures come out of it...


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  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the story of Doug!
    I much appreciate your telling us about him.
    You are right, we far too often only see the outward appearance of a person and become intimidated or shy or embarrassed or self-conscious, but once we get to know the whole person, we realise how real, human, full of life and stories of their own they are!

    I still haven't arrived at where I have the nerve and self-assurance to really go do street photography and get in touch with the people there...
     

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