The class was called Photographing People. Harvey is a big advocate of the wide angle lens–most portrait photographers like to use more narrow or telephoto lenses and to stay tight in their subjects. He mad a compelling argument about capturing the scene/story around the subject. I have found myself mainly using a wide angle lens since that time, even for shots that end up being close in on kids’s faces.
Harvey also led us on trips to do street photography. “Street photography” is when you approach a stranger and ask them if you can take their photo. When Harvey described it, I thought that it sounded a little embarrassing and not so much fun; but, as it turns out, I had a ball walking around the Common and Quincy Market taking pictures of people. And I will preempt your next question by telling you that almost no one refused when I asked them if I could take their picture. Even when they did say “no” they were very nice about it and grateful that I had asked rather than just taking their photo. In some cases I gave people my card and invited them to write me and get the files. A few folks did–one even invited me to a party!
The images that came out of the class were so strong that the Griffin Museum is going to host a show of the students’ work, as selected by Harvey. As I was working up my own files this morning, I thought that I would share a few from the class. Each of the participants in the class will have three images in the show and only one of the images below will be on exhibit, but I like them all. The first one is a Haitian woman who was walking around the Common almost enrapture and carrying her Bible. The second one is a guy I found sitting outside smoking, isolating himself from the crowd with his earphones. The third one is a group of teenage girls (all the girls in the photo are the same age) that I found just like they appear in the photo, which for me tells a story. Finally, there is a “self portrait” of sorts taken with one of the other students in the class.
The show will be on November 2-8 at the Griffin Museum in Winchester if anyone is interested in checking it out!