Take My Picture!

January 18, 2012 

I used to grit my teeth and ignore the frequent requests from people who yell, "Take my picture!" at me. And while I'll usually snub the people who aggressively refer to me as "Photo Guy" during these requests, I've amassed a fun little collection of goofy poses while on assignment.

Like most photojournalists, I fell in love with this profession by studying great documentary masterpieces. Classics like W. Eugene Smith's Minamata and Eugene Richards' Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue exposed unseen blights on society and helped affect change.

That high-minded drive settles into a young photojournalist's psyche, even when he's covering mundane events and making photos that will be forgotten in less time it took to make them. We can be a dramatic bunch, spitting blood when our photos are cropped without our input or seeing a clearly superior photo fall in favor of a more straightforward one in the editing process.

Sometimes it's easy to forget the other reason we get into photojournalism: making pictures can be fun. In that spirit, here are some silly snapshots from the past four years. Some are pretty basic requests that I mindlessly clicked, only to notice something kind of funny later on. I often respond now by saying, "You have to do something cool if I'm going to take your picture."

I chuckled after walking away from a lot of these impromptu portraits as the subjects excitedly chirped about how they were going on the front page the next day.

Running them on my blog months or years later is almost as good, right?

Not all of these were direct requests. Sometimes I was spotted while shooting when the subjects went into their pose. I can't remember which are which, but what I do know is that Water Follies is full of these requests, so we'll start there.

Now that I'm seeing how similar many of these are, maybe I'll push my unexpected subjects into even wackier territory in the future.


No links again this week, since I'm still on vacation, but here's a classic time waster for you.

Got a lot of time to waste? How about this 35-minute masterpiece of mind numbing?


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