1 Nov. 2010

Assignment 5 - Taking Talking Portraits

This week we were given the task of creating "talking portraits". Unfortunately this did not mean that we were allowed to add comic captions to our family happy snaps. We had to take photos of strangers that had to convey a story - or at least a feeling.

For five days I kept on spotting opportunities to fulfill my obligation, but either didn't have my camera, or was scared stiff of being either assaulted or arrested.  By Thursday, the camera came everywhere with me, and leaving the setting on 'P', I walked through my very ordinary life, finding extraordinary people everywhere I looked. Soon I began to sneak the camera out when I was positive nobody was looking (hence all the back shots), surreptitiously replacing it before I was caught.

On Sunday evening a local wedding started firing up on the opposite block. I started taking photos from my balcony, but the drums and the dancing drew me in. I tiptoed up to the fence and started snapping, even quickly having the nerve to fiddle with aperture and ISO. When a particularly stunning 6ft 6 man (really SHOULD have got a photo of him) started towards me with a couple of trailing henchmen, I had a tiny freakout, and started readying my apologies. I was totally prepared to have to delete all my photos.

They invited me in!

The people were all spectacularly welcoming, and spectacularly beautiful. So much more complex than a drunken aussie affair. This was the male half of the wedding - the women were apparently all at a fabulous hotel wearing very skimpy sequined dresses, eating caviar and laughing at crude jokes (at least that is just what a man on the sidelines told me - don't know if it is true, but after reading "Girls of Riyadh" I could almost believe it)

My other experience was asking a mum at school if I could take a photo of her and her new baby. This resulted in a fantastic session, where I also met Granny, who is gorgeous, and although baby-boy was adorable, she quickly became my favourite subject.