Father to Son

When I first got serious about photography, I was more comfortable photographing things. People photography is a little more daunting to an introvert like me, because it feels intrusive. You may have to ask your subject for permission, ask her to pose or give a particular facial expression, and then you have to stick this phallic looking device in her face. All of this while simultaneously trying to build a rapport with your subject because people tend to take their best photos when they're comfortable with the photographer. I find all of that very unnatural and a tiny bit intimidating.So I always saw myself as better suited to things like landscapes, architecture, still life, and just cool pictures of stuff.

But over time, I've come to realize that people pictures tend, on balance, to be more emotionally engaging. That's not to say that landscapes or whatever can't be emotionally engaging. Good ones certainly are! But adding a person to a photo instantly adds an emotional or story telling element that's a lot harder to achieve without them. Take this photo for instance. Earlier in my photography I might have waited until they left to take my picture. Or I might have composed them out of the shot. Hell, I might have even Photoshopped them right out of there! But without the people, this photo would be a garden variety landscape - nice, pretty, somewhat interesting on a technical level, but not that remarkable. With the people, however, I think it takes on new meaning. Instead of just being a pretty scene, it becomes a story about a young boy fishing with his Dad, the details of which are left to the viewer. Maybe it's their first fishing trip together. Maybe it's their last. It all depends on what sort of feeling or memories it evokes. For me, it reminds me of when my father taught me how to fish and our summertime camping trips to the mountain around Ruidoso, New Mexico, and that brings on feelings of longing and nostalgia.