Meet the 'gang' and aren't we a group!! It's a wonderful thing to be The Photo Schmoozer, but it is really so much FUN to find a gang and go out in a neighborhood together to chat people up and explore!! This is what I did on Saturday, 12/6.08. But when I started out that morning, or even more, when I signed up for the Panasonic Lumix workshop, little did I know what would be happening!! Our 'fearless' leader, Hinda Schumann, workshop leader for this day, describes our shoot this way:
The class spent a couple of hours shooting in the lower Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. The EL (Subway Line) runs over Front Street- which is the main shopping district. Behind this main street are blocks of empty factories, though someone told Ellen and I that in the basement of one of the empty looking factory buildings was a tropical fish wholesaler. It could be true.. then again.. But we chose this location because the light changes with the shadowing from the overhead subway, there is city scape and residential streets, there is empty warehouses, and lots of people out shopping, and getting ready for food pantries to open, meals to be served, and lots of street life in general. We discussed that going to a suburban development would yield very different pictures, and probably people who would not be as open to being photographed. In other words this neighborhood had a something for everyone element to it.
What a diverse group of individuals we were. Looking at the picture, 'the guys' brought their big SLR's and lenses, wielding them and being noticed on the neighborhood foray. 'The girls', had smaller point and shoot cameras...but as Hinda said to us, "I have seen great photos coming from cell phones so it is the photographer and the 'eye' that captures the moment." I agree!!
Just a quick left to right:
Julius: a cardiologist up from Florida to visit his family
Martie: the Photo Schmoozer
Bert: a self described 'paper pusher' with the State of New Jersey
Ellen: a recent high school graduate and a waitress at a Sushi restaurant
Dan: a teacher and a priest
We started out showing samples of the work we brought, talked about 'our vision' and how our pictures captured this. Then we talked about what our goals were to be as we went out into the neighborhood. (Note: My first teaching jobs eons ago in Philadelphia were in these same neighborhoods. I used to walk my kindergarten class to 'the Avenue' to see the world and meet the shop keepers)
We all agreed that we wanted to 'capture' the essence of where we were and the people who lived nearby. We all had different ways of approaching the people and the environment. Needless to say, in my Photo Schmoozer style, I smiled, flattered and 'chatted people up'. Once again, I discovered, and NOT to my amazement, that they responded!@! I watched Hinda, and she engaged people too, but in a quieter way. As I chatted, one of my new 'buddies' was right there with me taking fantastic pictures. He said that he was a bit shy though about walking up and talking to people. So are so many people!! It takes comfort and practice. So welcome to the world of Kensington and its residents!!
Reconsidering the Rules of Life
4 days ago