So apparently, the question on people's minds is: "When you take pictures of Transformers in public, how do people react??"
I cannot believe how many times I've been asked this question recently. I didn't realize this was such a hot topic, seriously.
At first I tried answering people individually, but that got to be a bit of typing, so I thought I'd just put this journal together. So, by popular request, I give you people's reactions to me taking pictures of robots in public, whee!1. People ignore me.
Seriously, this is what happens about 95% of the time. People just act like I don't exist. 2. People look at me sideways.
Honestly? I think most of these people are just curious about what I'm doing, but are too shy to ask. 3. People look freaked out, or even upset.
This happens less often, but it does happen. I think people are just afraid of what they don't understand, and it ruffles their feathers that some weird girl is snapping pix of robots in the middle of Walmart. I often wonder what they think
it is I'm doing. 4. Groups of 12-25-year-old girls sneer at me.
But really, sneering is so fashionable now that I can't tell if it's directed at me, or if their faces are just frozen that way.
Fun fact: one girl is too chicken to even look at you, while two girls will only look. It takes three or more to get a good sneer going. Bok, bok!5. People will ask me what I'm doing.
Good for them! That's an honest question, and I just tell them that making photo comics is a hobby. Most of them think it's neat.6. Adults will pull their children away from me.
True fact. Kids usually want to know what I'm up to, but I think their parents are afraid I have rabies or something. 6. People ask me if I made the robot.
Yes, really. I have been asked this many times. Why yes, I made Wheeljack, thank you. /fail7. People tell me their life story.
If I shoot in a public space, some people think that means that I'm there to socialize. That is the point at which they tell me about their Aunt Bertha who moved to Alabama, but then lost her job and moved to Cincinnati, but then she got a cat, and her son's brother's room mate once removed had a Toyota that broke down
and by then I just walk away. Which means they follow me talking, and so I walk faster until I lose them. 8. People ask me if I'm a teacher, and I'm taking pictures for school.
I get asked this a lot, and it's also irksome. I don't blame people for asking, because I can tell that it's all they can imagine. But that's the thing isn't it? So many adults have lost the ability to imagine. I think there's a thought that imaginative, creative "fun" or "playing" is for kids, and that bothers me. Because it's not just for kids, and fun is more than the "acceptable adult pastimes" like golfing, or drinking, or paying bills (all of which hold about the same allure for me). For some people, fun is playing with robots. And I think that's ok. 9. People ask me if I need medical assistance.
I think they see me crouching down, or on my knees, and think I've keeled over. God bless them, they don't realize I'm just playing with plastic robots. 10. I run into Transformers fans!
This happens less often than you'd expect, but it's always fun when it does -- and it's not always the same age group. Sometimes it's kids, and sometimes it's some 40-year-old dude gushing on about Bumblebee and Jazz. It's so much fun meeting other TF fans. You guys are great! 11. The baristas at Starbucks think I'm barking mad.
But they put up with me taking shots of my TFs anyway. I love you, Starbucks baristas! Other things that have happened:
- One neighbor asked me if I got paid for doing comics. When I said no, he told me to keep up hope. I tried to explain that this was just a hobby, but he seemed to think that anything you're not getting paid for isn't worth doing.
- Another neighbor said that she liked Sunstreaker. What she really said was, "I like the yellow one," but this was incredibly hip, since she's too old to have ever been into Transformers. Right on, cool neighbor lady!
- My least favorite neighbor threw a stick at my robots. I'm not kidding. I think there's a chance she was trying to throw the stick for my dogs and just hit the robots by accident, but let's just say that she is not invited over anymore. Ever. >:[
- I got kicked out of a store once for taking photos. In the store's defense, I think they thought they were being spied on by one of their competitors, so maybe it's best to ask permission before taking photos inside of stores. Of course, I would never, ever recommend just taking your pictures on the down-low, and only snap shots when no store employees are present, no. I would never do that.
- I got once got busted by security for taking pictures at work. Again, in security's defense, they probably don't dig people taking pictures on the premesis, since I work for a pretty big company, and all companies have privacy issues. (No, I will not tell you where I work.) So of course this does not mean that I take pix of my robots on the down-low, making sure never to include any incriminating evidence in any of my shots, no.
And I'll stop there. I'm sure a ton of other goofy stuff has happened that I'm forgetting now, but I've probably rambled on enough. Suffice it to say that if you want to take pictures outside of your house, you just have to get out there and do it. You will experience most of the above, but the most interesting shots are the ones with people and places in the background -- which of course means going out to the places and being near the people. But people don't bite, and at the end of the day, you'll love the shots you get.
If you're shy, my advice to you is to take someone who's small, and easy to set up. Start small. Take a Kreon to Starbucks, or to Chipotle. Snap a pic of a Kreon standing on your burrito. Or go to the grocery store. Snap a picture of Optimus Prime standing by the apple cart. Honestly? Most people won't even notice. They'll think you're tying your shoe, or that you dropped something (or that you've keeled over and need an ambulance
). Once you get used to taking small shots, you'll find more interesting shots to take, and before you know it, you'll be a serious street photographer.
Good luck, and best of all, have fun!
What I shoot with, for anyone who wants to know:
- Nikon D60 DSLR
- iPhone, mainly using the Hipstamatic app. (Link to Hipstamatic app: hipstamatic.com/the_app.html
And of course, a very appropriate shot for the day. FOC Shockwave, sitting on a sign
somewhere totally and completely random!
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