Everyday as I leave for work I drive past a man who walks up and down my street with a broom. When I come back he's still walking.
Years ago I lived next to a women who every Thursday morning, before the sun came out, would cruise through recycling bins. A few months later the bank foreclosed on her home.
Last summer I found a man drawing with chalk on street corners. Everyone knew about him, but no one knew his name.
We've all seen them and everyday we look over our shoulder as we fly by and wonder what they're about. But we never stop to find out.
I think that's partly why I got into this field. I was always a shy kid. But the camera drew me out. The chance to communicate my thoughts and ideas, to show others the way I see things and to do so without having to talk to anyone sounded pretty good at the time.
It didn't last though. Walking anywhere with a camera in my neighborhood wasn't very inconspicuous, I might as well have hired a guy to walk around behind me with a spinning arrow. In hindsight that probably would have been safer.
I was getting noticed everywhere I went, people were coming up to me, curious about the clicking box in my hands, asking me to take their picture, wondering what I was up to. I was talking to people I would never have normally stopped to talk to; hearing their take on current events, sharing laughs and taking trips down memory lane. Sitting with them on a street corner, at the bus stop, walking in the park; I was finding stories and interesting people everywhere I turned.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My camera had become my excuse to not be shy and before long I was finding my curiosity was taking over too.
Fast forward to today and I guess I'm still at it. Stopping at a street called Can't Stop, because my camera allowed me the excuse.
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