Sunday, January 13, 2008
Tonight Tab and I had dinner at the house of some friends. We don't know them well. They know I'm a photographer but that's about the extent of it. They don't really have a clear sense of what it is I do. About halfway through dinner I pulled out my camera and began taking photos of them. I didn't say anything. I just started shooting as I do when I'm near anyone I know. I figured, screw it, this is who I am and deal with it. Which is a rather rude attitude to assume as a guest, but anyway...The man was a good photo subject. He was very natural and didn't really change his behavior. I got some good shots. The woman was very different. She wasn't at all comfortable in front of the camera. Every time I lifted it to my face she smiled blandly with a "snapshot-time" face. Finally, after she realized I wasn't going to put the camera down, she attempted to get out of the photo. She leaned far over to the side to escape my field of vision, and lo and behold there was the photo: Her leaning over and him looking casual. But I didn't take the shot. It felt invasive. I realized in that moment that I will never be Arbus.