That’s right, you’re not from Texas…

In Digital, Inspiration

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.

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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

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18 Comments

  1. I love seeing a city’s true character from the sidewalk, and I absolutely think there are great images to be made on the streets anywhere. My city, Washington DC, is so well known for it’s tourist locations, photogenic as they are, that generally I choose to take my camera to places off the beaten path to show the local’s side of dc.
    I never would have guessed those top two images were Houston, Angie, and I love that kind of surprise!

  2. Amen, from a fellow Houstonian. I find I can go anywhere as long as I can take my camera. There is something about viewing a city (or any space really) as potential art & memory that makes a big difference for me.

  3. Big hair, right? Y’all keep a spare bottle of AquaNet in your purses to keep that hair up high, closer to God, eh? 😉 Love to see your Texas, Angie.

    • Why yes! I need that hairspray to counteract the humidity. And it’s nestled in my purse right next to my six-shooter and my bible. Hee hee!

  4. I ALWAYS felt like this with Reno, NV – no, we are NOTHING like “Reno 911”. No, I don’t go to Vegas all.of.the.time (it’s actually a heck of a lot easier and closer to just pop over the summit to San Francisco then to get to Vegas from Reno). And NO for the love all of all things, we don’t all just linger in the belly of the casinos all day. Now that I live in Tacoma, I have come to realize it is the red headed step child of Seattle- but I love the pride the locals hold of this city- and quite frankly, I am falling more and more in love with this place every day. Love seeing different cities through the local eye. This is part of my background of being a geographer- and part of why I love photography and the stories we can tell!

    • Seattle is one of those cities that I can’t wait to visit, but maybe I should build in time to head a bit further north? 🙂

  5. Love this! Can’t wait to visit Houston, and for the Houston-Marfa road trip that has to happen!

  6. Angie, I love this! I feel the same way about Kansas City…many people would pass right over it, but it’s got a lot going for it. I need to visit Houston sometime to see all the cool things there; you should come to K.C., too! 😉

    • Spent a weekend in KC a few years ago and had a great time. Ate my weight in BBQ and took in a Royals game. It was lovely.

  7. my hubs is from San Antonio and let’s say I’ve grown to appreciate Texas! You do Houston proud with your photos Angie!!

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