I was so excited to see the Discover Challenge this week! Portrait photography is something I so desperately want to be able to do well. In retrospect, I can see many ways to improve upon this photo but it does have a good background story…
First of all, you need to know I am an introvert. That means that taking photos of people does not really come naturally to me. Taking pictures of someone I have never met? Well that just feels like climbing Mt. Everest. A huge challenge. So yes, in a way, this photo is my mini Mt. Everest.
We spent 10 days in Mexico last March and every day, this fellow (and others like him) walked past us, selling his sombreros. Every day, I thought what a fabulous portrait he would make with the hats piled upon his head. And shyly, I began snapping a few shots from the back which are arguably better photos than the one above. The one on the right is the same man in the portrait shot.
Don’t you just love the back of his shirt? “I don’t need Google, my wife knows everything!”
Well after watching him walk back and forth daily selling his hats, I finally mustered up the courage to ask for a photograph. And he said yes! But did I pay attention to the shadow on his face? Oops! If I could do it again, I would definitely get him to stand in such a way to keep the sun off his face at least. But there’s a first for everything and this was one for me. The first stranger I ever asked, “May I take your photograph?”
And there’s more to the story. He totally reminded me of the children’s story “Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Some Monkey Business” by Esphyr Slobodkina. Every time I saw him, I smiled because of the peddler, the main character in this book. If you are a preschool or kindergarten teacher and you haven’t read this to your class yet, you absolutely have to do it! What a great story for getting children involved. They love to act like the monkeys in the story. The monkeys are so playful and mischievous. And what child doesn’t want the chance to be playful?
So now I have a photo of a real life seller of caps to share with my preschoolers when I read the story. Making connections and taking risks… that’s what it is all about!
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