I spent a good part of yesterday driving around uptown Charlotte with my son and his girlfriend. Just the thought of driving in uptown is something that would normally cause me anxiety. I never liked city traffic.
Strangely though, I felt almost the same level of anxiety as we drove down empty streets, past dark store fronts, and quiet parks.
CMPD officers stationed on pretty much every street corner, a jogger here and there, dogs out walking their owners, and the homeless, seemingly having the city all to themselves.
The only activity was much needed utility work and the usual ongoing construction, only now, uninterrupted with the usual traffic that defines Charlotte.
It was an eerie sight for uptown which is
normally teaming with traffic and pedestrians. As a photographer, how could I not photograph these scenes.
I know I am not alone in this, there are countless photographers everywhere documenting our world as it is now, and for good reason.
While street photography is a bit out of the norm for me, there is something that really draws me to this genre; I think it's that raw element, that authentic, unedited view of the world. I think it's one of the reasons I prefer black & white over color. When I strip away the beautiful colors, I tend to see more of what is really underneath. But maybe that's just me.
Although this is a bit different from what I do as a portrait photographer, I now realize I am looking for the same thing in my work. I typically spend a good bit of up-front time meeting with my clients, planning their session, making sure every detail is thought out. I do this not to alter or mask who they are, I do this to ensure I capture the essence of who they really are, their authentic true self.
I think maybe when all this is over, I launch a new project.... something like Come As You Are, or Authentic You, or something to that effect. Heck, I'll even give a free session to the first person who can come up with a better title than that!
Stay safe out there my friends, and support local small businesses!