Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Missing the Ordinary

You're likely asking, "What?" Or not. Anyway, after photographing the 2007 Seattle Pride Parade, namely the staging area and start of it, I like to see what other photographers have done. I realize that photojournalists have a responsbility to the media and the readers to capture what is the general perception of an event like this, which is the obvious people we think of when we're asked what's out and proud. And we think of the organizations that are a part of that or support that.

I for one, however, don't take many photos of the obvious. During a parade like the Pride Parade, I often turn my camera to the crowd or individuals that are less obvious. I like the ordinary or the normal scenes with a small thought about it, as seen in my photo galleries of the Pride Parade. We forget the people, lives and work of the many who go about their lives just being, like everyone including ourselves, just normal.

So I often wonder when I see photos of the obvious or exaggerated what would have happened if the photographers of the past and just skipped the scenes of the ordinary, the people, places and times that were a part of the day's existence. How much of the Depression-era photography would have been missed if the photographers had thought, "Naw, that's too ordinary." Like Dorthea Lange's photo of the migrant woman?

We are about being ordinary. And while the obvious and exaggerated sells papers, tv shows, and so on, it's the many lives of people that really matter. For they are the ones who really make history and make the world as we know and see it. It's those many that allow us to life with all the things we have available to us. And it's easy to forget them when we don't connect the dots of their lives into ours. Let's not forget that and them.

And to those I will focus my camera. The ordinary people like myself. I just happen to be on one side of the camera.

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