pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: Pizza man

23 February 2016

Pizza man


Sixth Street
Austin, Texas
31 October 2015

This has to be one of my favorite photos from the Halloween/Austin Film Festival adventure with Deb, the spouse and the daughter.

I caught sight of him from across the street. He was glowering a bit (I don't blame him. Who wants to work when there's so much fun going on around you?). But he was so beautifully framed in the dark and the doorway. I quietly and carefully lined up the shot. Snapped the shutter. And there it was: the expression on his face. Curiosity, interest, the unguarded softening of the human face when the wall comes down and we are a part of the world around us. We are who we are.

I don't do portraits, and I rarely take photos of people. I hate having my own photo taken. I don't like taking staged photos of others (though I've gotten some good posed, but spontaneous shots on occasion). And yeah, I felt a bit like a voyeur having taken this. But it was perfect: The backlight, the way the light from the pizza case lit his face, the attitude of his body, his expression.

A great photo? No. But a great unguarded moment that both broke my heart and lifted my heart? Yes.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. If I had the portraiture talent of Kyle Cassidy, taking photos of people would be a different story. I think my own shyness inhibits my ability to connect with others in that way. Portraiture is an act of intimacy.
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