Capturing the Moment

Garry Winogrand‘s perfectly timed photo reminds me of the day I was photographing on the street and captured an unusual moment similar to his. See my image below Winogrand’s.

 

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Some of the” first impression” feedback I’ve received on my image above is that I caught this guy just as he fell, crashing to the ground, as in he’s fallen from a building. I admit it does look like that at first glance. In reality he was heading my direction with his companions, suddenly stopping on the sidewalk right in front of me, where I was standing in an alcove, and started breakdancing – one reason the image lacks clarity – the element of surprise! Rather than delete the image because it wasn’t sharp, I focused on the authenticity of moment. It is one of my favorite street photography images.

Photographer Eric Kim writes: ”

If you want to get a deeper insight into street photography and take better photos, I feel it is very important to study the work of the street photographers who came before us and paved the way for the rest of us. Not only that, but reading the quotes and words by these influential street photographers is a great way to train your mind to take better photos as well. Below are some of my favorite street photography quotes that are concise, inspirational, and have influenced me in one way or another.”

“I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them.” – Bruce Gilden

After he unwound his tangled limbs and hopped up off the pavement, I got to know something about him, not as a subject but as a person. His name is Wanderer. He has a son by the name of Madison. He and his friends travel by box car around the country hopping off at towns along the way to leave their mark on the world – graffiti. I instantly liked him and his gang, who at first looked intimidating, but in reality turned out to be really sweet guys who shared a common passion. They were in no hurry to rush off, but hung around with me for a while talking with me about themselves as though we were friends reconnecting after a long absence and catching up. I suppose that to them, I was one of many people across the country that create a sense of community for  them wherever they go… one moment at a time, connected by thousands of miles of track.


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You are enough

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While I was was giving out FREE HUGS at our local Farmers Market, I met Besty. After a warm hug, she asked me if I was a member of the Happiness Sprinkling Project. I replied I had never heard of it before and had no idea what it was. She rummaged around in her bag and pulled out a small card, smaller than a business card that read in all caps, “YOU ARE ENOUGH.” Betsy then told me about this movement – how people gather together to sprinkle happiness on others – holding large signs, giving out small cards, waving, offering hugs….

How marvelous! More just like me, spreading a little love, a warm hug, a little happiness to anyone that will receive it. As I offered, I emailed Betsy this photo of her holding another card, this one saying “IT’S GOING TO BE OK.” In return, she emailed me back a lovely reply. I learned a little more about her, her mother and friends. We are connected. I hope to see Betsy again. For now, we have each other’s emails as a way to stay in touch.

An outcome of hugging and talking with Betsy – I joined the Happiness Sprinkling Project and am now a Happiness Ambassador [note the sidebar graphic, which links to the website]. Another outcome of connecting with Betsy , was learning of the HSP event coming up this Friday. I am going to participate in celebrating the anniversary of the first Happiness Sprinkling last year in Washington, DC,  by pass out life-affirming cards to unsuspecting people around our community – the hospital, nursing home, ferry terminal, cafes… wherever my feet shall take me. Others may join me. And of course, I will be offering FREE HUGS.

 

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Another outcome of meeting Betsy is connecting with the founder of the Happiness Sprinkling Project, Laura Lavigne. I invited Laura to be a guest blogger on my website to share her story, what led up to the MOMENT she decided to found the Happiness Sprinkling Project, and what has happened since she first launched the idea and inspired the first Happiness Sprinkling event – The Little Moment that Turned Big”  Part I and Part II. Check out the Happiness Sprinkling Project and schedule a Happiness Sprinkling in your community!

Yes, I AM ENOUGH…. and so are YOU! Come Sprinkle with us!

Laura updated me that she figured out the reason Betsy ended up with a card to pass along to me in Port Townsend when a Sprinkling hadn’t happened her yet. It turns out that Betsy’s friend ordered 25 little card packs, then proceeded to split them into 92 smaller packs and sent them out to many of her friends. Which is how Betsy ended up with hers, and me with mine. And that, says Laura, is “one of the gifts of this Project, the stories. They keep on coming… it is truly a Sprinkling.”