How to get people comfortable in front of a camera is a real skill. Even though I’ve photographed hundreds of people there are just some folk who cannot make eye contact with a lens; are so self conscious their discomfort is written all over their face and it … well… spoils the photo or while self consciously adjusting themselves they deliver a litany of reasons why they never take a good picture.
I once came very close to getting on my knees and begging a grown man, to look at the camera for a story that was about him (!) and it took at least 20 goes before he could comply. His struggle was obvious and I can only wonder what internal struggle he was having.
On the flip side there are people who love the camera. Usually the camera loves them too and I think it’s where hangups about being photographed stem from. Because most mortals don’t travel with an entourage of beauticians, hair stylists, make artists and graphic designers to airbrush away the flaws (or the things that make us unique!) the majority of people look… well… real.
Real to me is infinitely more interesting than stock standard beauties, who have their place, but after a while another pretty face starts to look like the next.
These gregarious young men, however, are very hard not to notice or remember. I thank them, whoever they are, for their courage (their’s might have been Dutch, now I think about it) to walk right up and give me this gift of a fun-tastic shot at the Renaissance Festival in Florida, March 2013.