Friday, June 28, 2013

Unplugged and Engaged

My first shot, I asked him if I could take his pic and he smiled and said "sure." Then I was inspired

Today I ran 9 miles of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. When I am running, biking, or swimming, my mind wanders creatively and often times artistic ideas come to me. This morning, about five miles in, I had an idea. 

What would it be like to take a series of portraits of these interesting people I was passing by on the boardwalk? Not just snapping them from a distance, or when they were not looking, but engaging them, talking to them, asking them to pose for a portrait and look into the lens of a stranger on the boardwalk.

Setting up tables for the day, She was more than happy to pose

Sure, you can shoot a person from across the street with a big lens, but this is up close and personal. This morning I was shooting with an iPhone from three feet away, engaging strangers in conversation. Maybe I'll paint them, maybe I'll just keep them and enjoy them as photos. Whatever I end up doing with them, it was a great social experiment to see what folks would say when you ran up to them and asked them out of the blue to say cheese!

So often we are "plugged in" and don't notice the amazing and individual people around us. We used to be more engaged, chatting with folks in line at the post office, commenting on a hairstyle we liked on the check-out girl, waving to our neighbors in traffic. These days, everyone has their headphones in, their blue-tooth on, and their smart phone out. I wondered if it would startle people to have someone come up and talk to them instead of bump into them while text-walking. The responses I got made my morning, even the people who so graciously declined my request. 

Interacting with people on a personal level, running with the sun on my shoulders and a smile on my face, what a great way to start the day.

Some folks were more confident in with a partner, these guys were great

Most folks said yes. Some folks look bewildered, said nothing, but looked into the lens. Some folks said no, mostly women who I assumed felt that they did not look good enough to pose for a photo at 8 am. Thank you to everyone who said yes and spent a minute or more of their time talking to me this morning. 

"Why?" he asked. "Because you look pretty cool." I replied

Thanks for being a part of my art journey, 


  1. Awesome! Love the idea of disconnecting and actually behave like humans were designed to do!!


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