On Observing

I recently had the pleasure to go on walks with two photographers of whom I really admire the work of while they were in LA, and I soaked up all their wisdom like a greedy little sponge. Now I’m going to talk about them and possibly embarrass them with my nerdy admiration. First Brian came to town and we walked around and I noticed his keen sense of seeing the beauty in little things the average person would so easily pass up. When I go for walks now I put my “what would Brian see” hat on and absorb my surroundings more than I did in the past. This is not only a great thing for photo taking, but for your wellbeing in life in general! Then Parker came to town and I took him on a secret stair walk in Silverlake. Since his photos are largely of people, this was an entirely different experience and he took some photos of me on our walk. I found this really interesting because I want to take more photos of people, but it’s a nerve-wracking process for me. I picked up on the way he finds interesting backdrops and isn’t shy about having you adjust little things while he takes your photo. I’m terrible with this – I feel too silly asking someone to brush a strand of hair out of their face or tilt their head as I don’t want to inconvenience them, but later I’ll see the photo and have such regrets over this despite the fact that no one probably even cares if you ask them to make small adjustments. You want someone to be natural in a photo, but if they’re not a professional model they may not be aware of little things that could make a photo better. I’ll take twenty minutes to rearrange a cup of coffee for a photo but I don’t want to ask someone to move over two inches for a photo? Hilarious.

I didn’t take many photos on either of those walks as I was too busy chatting and observing, but these are some photos from my secret stair walk – the Music Box Loop – with Parker. If you’re interested in this walk there’s a map here. It’s lovely and a great place to take people who are in town.

Small steps towards being more mindful with my photography and finding my voice.


Photos by Kate Miss, taken with Mamiya 645 with Kodak Portra 160 film