Street Subject No.1

One of my goals for the New Year has been to ask strangers on the street if I can get a photograph of them. It’s been a success so far with the first subject found in Kenosha, a town filled with sights such as retro signage, Lake Michigan, and even an old trolley!

After a day of exploring the city and working up the courage to speak to a stranger, I found an older gentleman sitting in a chair. He was out on this cold windless day for a smoke break.
Still a bit nervous, I came up to ask if I could get a quick photograph of him. He quietly agreed and flicked his cigarette away before readjusting himself for his photograph.
Without instruction, he looked at me without a smile, a stern but open look on his face. I snapped a quick shot before thanking him for his time and wishing him a good rest of the day.

And from there my point of view kind of shifted.

While I’m friendly to people, I’m a pretty shy person. It was a shock how calmly this stranger reacted to my request; it was the exact opposite of how I thought he’d respond. It was an exhilarating feeling to go up to someone I knew nothing about and to request something as personal as getting a photograph of them.

It was even more exhilarating when they agreed.

Of course as I’ve also learned, you get your fair share of negative responses, but it’s worth it for the occasional “Yes” you’ll hear from a stranger’s mouth. The experience taught me to be a bit more open and friendly to this world, and I can’t wait to grow even more as I photograph more people.

Already I can feel myself getting more friendly and invested in these strangers, wanting to learn their names and stories. As time goes on and my confidence builds, I look forward to learning more and more about these fellow humans of Wisconsin.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even get a photograph of you, if you happen to be drifting through America’s Dairyland.

If you’d like to see more of the strangers I’ve met so far, take a look at the “Street” section of my photography. Feel free to let me know what you think of them in the comments below or by sending me a message directly.

Either way, I hope you enjoyed this short read and that you come back next week Monday for my next post!

Nice Doesn’t Mean Perfect

It’s a hard truth to accept, isn’t it? I think many of us have been through the experience; You’re dating someone, and nothing’s wrong, but at the same time, nothing’s great either. That’s not to say it’s a nightmare. In fact, you laugh with them on a fairly regular basis and even enjoy their company. Things have just taken a path different from what you expected.

You try everything you can think of. Trips to new places, learning more about this other person, even talking about how you feel, and still nothing’s working. No amount of new experiences or talking can seem to help. It might mask it for a little bit, but at the end of the day, the feeling’s still there.

The guilt starts to set in. How did this happen? What did I do wrong? It all feels like your fault, and it gets trapped in your chest like a bunch of starved tarantulas in a cage trying to get out and forage.

And you know what needs to happen next. For the sake of yourself and them, you know you’ll have to say those dreaded words:

“I’m breaking up with you.”

Even just thinking of it makes you sick to your stomach. You might not want to be with them as a partner anymore, but at the same time you don’t want to hurt them. While the feeling’s gone, you still consider them to be your friend.

But think of it this way: if you know you don’t love them anymore, staying with them is, in a way, hurting them as well. They may not know anything’s wrong, think the problem’s been solved, or maybe they’ve been on edge about it the whole time. They’re also losing precious time that could be used to process and move on from the relationship.

The longer you wait, the worse it will be.

It’s not going to be easy, but hopefully they’ll understand and maybe you’ll even be able to end things on amicable terms. Either way, you’ll feel incredibly relieved to have it out there, and both of you will be one step further along on your relationship pathway.

So be respectful, be kind, and let them down gently, but know you’re making the best choice for both of you. They may be nice, but if there’s no more sparks for you and you’ve tried what you can, it’s best to move on and learn from the experience.  After all, nice doesn’t mean perfect.