I began my trek in photography in 1968 while a student at Purdue. Since then and almost 100,000 images later (at least the ones that I have kept track of) I have taken 3 pictures that in my opinion ...rise above the others. Tastes in photography are relative, so you may not agree and that is fine...differences in likes and dislikes are what makes life interesting.
The first of my favorites was the father and child taken at the Black Panther rally in 1969. The second was the image of the child in Spain peering through an iron gate. Both have been posted on the blog. The third is today's post. It is ironic that all three are black and white since my style is often over saturated colors.
For the next three days, I will be showing photos of the "Fall Festival" in Evansville with several images but this particular one deserves a day of it's own. It was taken this Saturday, the last day of the festival. He, like so many of the other booth workers was tired from a very busy week of crowds, noise and bad weather. I took his picture as he stood on the wooden crate like sidewalk in front of the dartboard...enticing the next passerby to win one of the big stuffed animals displayed in his 3 walled world. His face remained with me the rest of the day...haunting me...his eyes looked right through me as I snapped the shutter. When I got home and downloaded the picture... I was stunned at the raw unpretentious questioning expression on his face...perhaps asking why the picture? Was it anger, curiosity...disgust? I had made a mistake two earlier times...once at a Panther rally and once in Arenys de Mar, Spain...I didn't try to get a photo release so I could exhibit the image. I wasn't going to make that mistake a third time.
I printed off a photo release, mustered up my courage and left for the Festival in hopes he was still there. I finally broke through the crowd and found myself starring him face to face. I really didn't know if he was angry that I took his picture and did not know what type of response I would get from him. He told me he remembered me from earlier in the day and wondered why I took his picture. I told him my story and gave him an 8X10 print of his soul....
He was the one of the most humble, down to earth, nicest people I have ever met. He gladly signed the photo release and told me his story of traveling on the circuit for 30 years....On Saturday...I learned about a whole side of life so different from my own. A life of freedom from corporate walls and time clocks. A life of traveling one city to the next...night after night...same gig...different time zone.
Chris is from Chicago and Chris if you are reading the post today...Thank you so much again for trusting me... a person who stepped into your space and stole a piece of your soul. I promise to display your image in the best of light...with the perfect mat and frame.
I am entering the image in an Arts exhibition at the end of the month.......and I will proudly display your soul and tell anyone who will listen what a truly nice person you were.
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