Teri's Blog

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Cluckin' Amazin'

I recently took a photo workshop with Deanne Fitzmaurice on storytelling and how to develop an engaging narrative. I learned a lot and I look forward to putting some of it in to practice. She advised us to find stories we are passionate about and then the telling becomes natural because it's something we want to both capture and share, though persistence might be required to actually get permission to shoot the story. The hard part is to capture moments that say something and to have each photo actually move your narrative forward.

Deanne gave each participant an assignment and we had to shoot it and then get critiqued. I was assigned a wing making truck call Cluckin' Amazin' at the 150th anniversary celebration of Redwood City. This yearly celebration includes a chicken wing contest so there were around 15 trucks putting out wings and many of them had been there before. I had never met the guys at Cluckin' Amazin', but she advised us to go up and ask if it would be ok to photograph their gig. When I'm doing street photography, I don't usually ask people if I can take their picture, I just shoot. Asking can go a long way to helping you get the photos you want assuming the folks you are photographing go back to doing what they were doing before you showed up. You also get more insight in to why people are involved in something. Dan and Scott from Cluckin' Amazin' were firemen who liked to cook and decided this would be the year they would enter the contest. I had a lot of fun capturing their adventure in the wing contest. These guys were super efficient and ran out of wings in about 2 hours where as other booths had long lines. I kept teasing them that we like organization and efficiency in our firemen. Seriously.

Scott & Dan, the Cluckin' Amazin' Chefs

Scott & Dan, the Cluckin' Amazin' Chefs

Preparing the wings
The Health Inspector, Who Knew?

The Health Inspector, Who Knew?

The Customer
Firemen Buddies

Firemen Buddies

The Competition
The Smokers

The Smokers

Let's Eat!

Let's Eat!

Grown Men Wearing Crazy Hats

Once again, it pays to talk to strangers. You never know what you might find out. On the elevator in my hotel, a woman I'd met a few days earlier asked me, "Are you going to the Easter parade?" Yes, I said (even though I had no idea there was an Easter parade that day), do you know what time it starts? Who knew that in New York City they have a tradition that goes back to the 1870s of an Easter parade. There's even a movie called Easter Parade starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. I couldn't help myself, I had to watch a little clip on youtube. As I found out when I arrived at St. Patrick's Cathedral, it's not a parade in the traditional sense with floats and an organized procession, but more of a mingling of common folk dressed up in crazy hats or their Sunday best wandering up and down 5th Avenue adding to the specktacle. What a fabulous impromptu find...a photographer's paradise! 

There was lots of matching hats and outfits like this two gents and, of course, people and their dogs.

There was lots of matching hats and outfits like this two gents and, of course, people and their dogs.

This guy was super tall and certainly made a statement in this fabulous hat. He came to steal the show.

This guy was super tall and certainly made a statement in this fabulous hat. He came to steal the show.

Dualing photgraphers!

Dualing photgraphers!

Silent Disco, Edinburgh

Grown people, wandering the streets with headphones on, listening to music only the headphoned-people can hear, singing at the top of their lungs mostly off-key. Yep, that's silent disco. I first encountered this at a music festival called Bottlerock. All these people with headphones on were dancing wildly but as an onlooker, I could not hear what they were moving to. When I went to the Edinburgh Fringe festival last summer, I had to try it for myself. What a kick. The guy in orange is our fearless leader and he led us around town and told us what moves to make so we were in sync. Here we are having a sing-off between two groups, singing "We are the Champions" by Queen. As you can see, the onlookers are a little perplexed. Super fun way to pass some time. Try it, you may like it. 

VERSHELT-SilentDisco-2.jpg

2017, A new year

My last blog post was two years ago. Since then, I have been finishing my photography degree and building my street photography portfolio. While working on my degree, I began to gravitate towards shooting people and I found the streets to be a constant source of inspiration. My new blog posts will begin to show that focus.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but for 2017 I have decided I want to be more fearless. I want to do this in many areas of my life, but especially with my photography. To that end, when I walked in to TJs Roadhouse in Colfax and saw this lovely woman sitting in the corner with this sign on the table, I wanted to find out more about her. I recently read in a street photography guide that it's ok to ask a subject if you can take her picture. Not all photos have to be without the participant knowing. So on my way back from the restroom, I asked about her sign and if she would mind if I took her photo. "The Princess" eats at TJs Roadhouse almost everyday. She calls ahead and tells them when she is coming. TJs had the sign made so they could reserve her special table with ease and humor. It is this very human story, a retired person eating in the same diner every day and that diner embracing her as family, that gives me hope. I love this story. 

So, it can be a lovely gift to stop and talk to a person and they may just let you take their photo, no need for surreptitiousness.

The Princess

The Princess