It’s funny how freezing moments in other peoples’ lives seem to pull out stories and emotions that I might not otherwise have noticed had I not been looking through a lens. I wonder to myself, “what were they thinking? Were they happy? Sad? Annoyed? Perhaps exasperated.” Of course, I’ll never know.
To be honest, outside of work, running errands or walking my dog, I don’t tend to leave my house oddly enough. I guess that’s what happens when most of your work is done from home. Yet when I leave the country, I can’t seem to help myself from peaking my cameras into the lives of others.
Last month, and last fall, I spent a few weeks visiting family in China, and it seemed that everywhere I looked, life and all it’s emotions were on display in the streets.
And despite having mixed emotions about whether or not I should be taking these captures, my fingers still hit the trigger to record these slices of life.
I don’t take my street photos surreptitiously, covertly hiding my cameras, so that my subjects can’t see me. Nor do I force photos onto people while quickly walking by. (Note: This happened to me last summer while walking my dog, and my revulsion of having had this happen changed my view of street photography forever…but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.)
Instead, I don’t hide behind my cameras. I use my tools in plain sight following where life takes me recording light and life on the streets. In this case in Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing.
I love reviewing my images later that day, seeing what my cameras saw – what I saw – and looking more closely at what stories my images tell about the places I’m visiting.
And I enjoy seeing these glimpses into peoples’ lives, the emotions on their faces, the beauty of all that unfolds. Mundane moments make up the majority of our days, yet somehow they seem more magical when I’m “off duty” elsewhere around the world. Probably because I’m not in my head wondering about all that I need to get done.
How about you? Do you enjoy capturing emotion on the street too? Or maybe somewhere else. This month on Viewfinders, we’re looking at images with emotion for our community theme, and we’ll be sharing your images from Instagram on June 16th. Be sure to hashtag your images #viewfindersio and #emotion for a chance to be featured here on the site next week. I’m looking forward to seeing how you view emotion from the street too!