I’ve been making a conscious effort to really think about whether I want to bring my camera when I attend social gatherings, lately. My photographic output hasn’t suffered, but I tend to take many more photos at ‘events.’
Why do I think about this? I’ve had a few people question me about always having the camera. Most were quite indirect about it, but still gave me pause. The real turning point was when a friend said that she mentioned me to a friend of hers, and the response was, “Rick? That guy with the camera?” Granted not everyone would respond in the same way, but it did make me consider how I interact with other people.
IMG_2955.CR2: 30D, EF 85mm 1:1.8 @ 1/25, f/8, 1600 ISO, no flash
I don’t want to be the guy you see in the photo here. I’m much more than a face peeking out from behind the camera.
When I went to Lori’s son’s birthday party, I did bring my gear along. I didn’t have the camera in-hand as much as I would have in the past, though. And when I did have it out, I watched for changes in my interactions with others, and their interactions with me. It was very interesting. Basically, any real interaction stopped when I brought the camera to my face. Oh sure, people will sometimes ham it up or put on a show for the camera, but I use my words carefully in saying their actions are for the camera. Even when I am holding the camera and not looking through it, the interactions seemed less frequent.
I still enjoy photography as much as I ever have, and I do admit that even in the midst of a party, I can sometimes use a break. Perhaps I will get that break in the future by taking a few photos, in addition to those I would take when the birthday boy blows out the candles.
I will no longer set myself up to be ‘the guy with the camera.’ I’ll be Rick, and whatever description follows will be about who I am and not what I have. I wouldn’t mind if it eventually comes out that I can take a decent picture, though.