When you think of street photography, what city immediately comes to your mind? And what about landscape photography? And fashion? Do particular cities inspire specific types of images for you? Granted, I can’t get snowy landscape scenes in Miami, or fiery lava flow in Paris, but each city, despite their geographic limitations, comes with it’s own set of stereotypes. London is drizzly. San Francisco is foggy. Chicago is windy. Tokyo is crowded. New York is busy. And as much as these things might be true some of the time, they can’t possibly encompass all the nuances and complexities of what it means to live there.
Let’s take Houston, for example. I use it mainly because it’s where I am now and personally, I think it gets a bad rap. I’ve lived in a few other places over the years and it’s always interesting to hear opinions of the city from people who haven’t been here. (And a layover between flights in the airport doesn’t count…) There’s always mention of the heat. Dear God, the HEAT! And cowboy boots and traffic. Now don’t get me wrong, some stereotypes exist for a reason, but so much of what has stuck with the city’s reputation beyond these things doesn’t even come close to explaining the diversity, the culture and variety that flourish here. As a photographer, I find that Houston offers me endless opportunities to make images and gain inspiration. World class museums like the MFAH, and photography focused organizations like Fotofest International and the Houston Center for Photography keep my creative spark kindled. And the weather is actually pretty beautiful for about 9 months out of the year, which allows me to shoot outside comfortably on a regular basis.
How would outsiders define your city? Do you think their stereotypes are accurate? Have you ever longed to show off what it really means to live where you do so that people would understand why you choose to stay? I’d love to hear about it. And maybe you’ll just come to visit someday so I can show you that there’s more to Houston than the platitudes would lead you to believe. Just like Lyle Lovett says in one of his songs, “That’s right, you’re not from Texas – but Texas wants you anyway.” Just choose a month besides August because, well…it’s hot. Looking forward to sharing more from my city, Angie