Selecting a subject, Hurn & Jay
School Lunches and Polaroids, Lamott
Once again, I loved and really related to the reading from "Bird by Bird."
(that should be underlined as it is a book)
Not only is the idea of "school lunches" being a point of absolute judgment for kids by kids a poignant one, but it really does have a plethora of creative meat that can be extracted from expounding on the subject.
I thought it was a great metaphor for breaking down the one-frame idea-
ignore the parental notes, the actual lunch sack, or most of the content.
Start with the sandwich, just the sandwich.
I never had a lunch packed for me as a kid (or as an adult, for that matter)
but I can obviously still understand the metaphor.
I was there, obviously.
I watched the lunch swap, though I never once succeeded in making a trade.
My lunches were undesirable in every way, mostly because I was an undesirable
(and packed my own)
I also appreciated the metaphor of the development of a polaroid for generating a first draft.
"And finally, as the portrait comes into focus, you begin to notice all the props surrounding these people, and you begin to understand how props define us and comfort us, and show us what we value and what we need, and who we think we are." (p. 40)
What a great sentence that tells an awful lot. (maybe I'm just fond of run-ons and big ideas)
I loved the exposition about Lamott's experience writing about the Special Olympics.
Partly because I can really appreciate what she's saying because I've attended,
and partly because I now knew exactly what she meant with her metaphor.
I began to be able to truly relate my own experiences with how it -feels- for the development of the polaroid to begin and how it feels when it comes into view.
It starts out slow and begins to avalanche into that amazing feeling that she describes where one feels like they can "write all day."
Selecting a subject, Hurn & Jay
From the very beginning, I responded to the definition of photography as showing not what someone looked like, but what someone looked like under a certain set of circumstances or at a certain moment while relaying that effectively to others.
For me, a photograph is not successful unless it relates something "extra": It makes the viewer feel or think about (or wonder about) the subject.
What I am unsure of is if my pictures carry that unique stamp that tells the reader that in addition to these things that I am the one who is behind the photograph.
The exposition about the photographer needing a curiosity that leads them back to keep trying and failing spoke to my one-day story idea about George Wren and Bob Dawson because thought it's something that I've already had the experience of shooting, I am not satisfied that I am 'done' with the story- either photographically or journalistically or even personally.
The re-staging of George Wren into Bob Dawson's store makes me curious all-over because though I felt like I knew George Wren, I only knew.
I want to know how he has changed with his location, if at all.
I want to know how the story is developing.
I want to know who he has become after his shop closed, after he went to work at a department store, and now for another local cobbler.
I have to.
This makes me proud because this isn't something I've been assigned, it's something that I want to do and to read that it's part of being a good photojournalist makes me feel closer to the craft.
I was able to answer yes to the questions that follow about whether a subject would be good to photograph and came up with an affirmative answer to everything except "is it interesting to others?"
That I don't know.
And although I am sick with worry about how my class will perceive my idea, when it really comes down to doing this assignment, I don't care as much.
This is something that I really want to shoot.
I want to be able to follow a story that I care about and since it's being done for a class and not publication, I feel like I have that luxury, at least a little bit.
(Not worrying whether or not it's really an interesting choice to others. It might not sound interesting, but to me, it absolutely is.)