06 March 2011
See What Happens
I pulled out my camera, the 35mm one. Last week I bought myself a Holga, finally, so now I am juggling three cameras at once. Knowing which one to shoot is like drawing straws. I lift my camera to take a picture of a row of tables. We are at a restaurant called Butch Cassidy's, and the decor is, in a word, Americana. But it's also Mardi Gras, so there are purple, green, and gold decorations hanging from the ceiling and the bartender is dressed as a Mardi Gras-style Cleopatra.
I tell Adam that I want to stand up and take a photo of the decorations. "That's the owner," he says, looking at the pony-tailed guy behind the bar. I recognize him from the commercials. "Do you think he'll have a problem with it?" I ask. Already I feel like dog with my tail between my legs. I won't stand up. I won't take the photo I want. Instead I snap a photo of our beer and a quick one of the bar when the man is back in the kitchen. I'm a chicken.
Just the other day I went downtown to take photos of Mardi Gras carts and beads hanging from the trees. I drove around a bit to scout out a location, parked the car, and went on my way. And then I was bashful. Should I take a photo now? All these people are around. I talked myself up onto the ledge and then back down. What would I think if I was walking down the street and saw a photographer with her camera pointed into a tree? I would think, that's awesome, and nothing more.
So I stepped into the midst of a carnival being set up and snapped a few photos. I walked right up to a flowering bush and snapped another. When someone looked at me, I said hi. When they walked by, I said hi. It's far easier to psyche myself out of doing something because I feel foolish than to just do it and see what happens. And so I just have to do it, take the leap or the photo or whatever needs to be done, and see whatever might be.