My Problem With People

Most of my posts here and on other social media platforms are pictures of places and things: buildings, flowers, trees, birds. I find all these interesting, but I also people also interest me and I often find myself looking at a person with the same intensity as I do a flower, a tree, the sky or the water.

2019.04.03: Outside a Starbucks on the corner of Madison and East 49th. I’ve seen this woman more than once feeding birds and I’m not so sure she’s eating all that well, herself. Haven’t had occasion to be back in the City since COVID, so don’t know if she’s still there. I hope she’s well.

My cameras are always working, so I take almost as many pictures of people as I do of anything else. I seldom post these, though, because I have a problem with people: they scare me. I don’t like to approach them unless I have a good reason – and even then somewhat nervously. If I ever start a conversation with you you are probably one of two things: so incredibly interesting to me that I cannot resist or a bartender. Grateful am I that my life has been rich in both of these, but even more grateful am I for the people who have spoken to me first.

2019.08.24: Bartender (left) and Incredibly Interesting (both) and friends. Taken outside the Old Greenwich Social Club on a Saturday afternoon

I feel that, to take and post pictures of people, I would need to approach them and have some sort of conversation, if for no other reason than to ask their permission, and that scares me for several reasons. First, I don’t know how to start that conversation, it’s hard enough for me to walk up to up to a stranger and say hello, I find it impossible come out with ‘say, I’d like to take your picture if that’s okay?’ Second, I’m afraid of rejection or worse: being asked all sorts of questions about why, what am I going to do with it and if I’m some sort of weirdo (being honest, I’d have to say yes!). Finally, if people know I’m taking their pictures they’ll be less natural or want to know how I want them to sit or stand – I can’t give those sort of directions.

So the pictures I post tend to be photos of friends or people who’s faces are somehow obscured.

Everything above has been posted before, but there are pictures I’ve always felt I can’t post on either Instagram or Facebook because the people in them are recognizable. But I’ll post some of them here now because I have very few local followers here (few followers altogether) and I’m hoping that, thus, they’ll remain anonymous

2021.06.30: The Waiter Waits – Lugano, Old Greenwich, CT
2021.06.06: And the Waitress Waits – Old Greenwich Social Club
2021.06.13: Playing while the adults eat
2021.06.06: Strangers in the Park (*this one I think I instagrammed)
2021.06.11: Family Breakfast

Cameras used here were either iPhone (2019) and Olympus OM-D E Mark 5iii

3 responses to “My Problem With People”

  1. I have the same “problem” approaching people and asking to take their photos, and haven’t approached anyone since covid. It’s different in festivals, cos play, re- enactments, where people actually love to have their photos taken. I like your people’s pictures. They have a lot of characters.


    • Hi. Thank you. I’m afraid I passed my shyness to my daughter who, at 27, still has a hard time asking a grocery store clerk where to find a certain item – she’d rather walk up and down twenty aisles maybe twice. Fortunately, I have no such problems interacting with people on line. Was actually thinking of approaching you the other day when I saw my first monotropa uniflora and my usual plant ID software couldn’t identify it.

      I always enjoy your comments, they are always so thoughtful.

      Liked by 1 person

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