Introduction

I love the photography of Vivian Maier. She's a street photographer who would take pictures of strangers, sometimes with their permission and sometimes without. One thing that makes these photos so intriguing is how people look at a camera when their space is being invaded. With this project I wanted to experiment with this and try to replicate the same type of glances in my own camera. I soon discovered that you can gather a lot of stories or interesting moments. So for this project I've included my own photography with stories.

Here's How it Works

  1. Look at the Photos
  2. Click on the Photos you want to see full screen
  3. Hover your mouse over the ">" to see the story
  4. Comment / Like if you want
Link for the inspiration of the project: 

Boise

I went home for Thanksgiving, which means Boise. This trip was very different from my Salt Lake excursions. My theme "Intrusion of Space." didn't seem to fit as well here, because as much as I was trying to invade territory, nobody seemed to mind. I think another thing that was different about this day was the fact that I was using my 28-135mm lens, so I didn't have to stand so close to people in order to get their picture. So I may have accidentally sabotaged the point of my own project by lens choice.

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“May I take your picture” This guy didn’t miss a beat. “yes” I sat down in the chair right in front of him and waited for him to put the cigarette back in his mouth. He didn’t acknowledge me at all after I asked him for a picture. He seemed to be too enthralled in his work.

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“Hey can I take your picture?” “Do you want our picture because we’re from Salt Lake?” “uh… no. It’s ok guys, you don’t have to smile.” As it turns out they were headed to an anime convention.

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“May I take your picture?” “Fine.” “Thank You.” After the picture he tries to walk into a building. A nice Asian man comes out of the door and starts talking to him. “Dude I don’t speak Taiwanese!”

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I took the nice Asian man’s picture.

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“May I take your picture?” “Sure” “Thank you very much.” “My Pleasure, have a great day!”

Provo Bar

Another week and I wasn't able to make it to the city, so I went to a local Bar in Provo Utah. People didn't seem to mind me there. In fact, they thought it was kindof cool.

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(talking to his friends) “haha, I guess guys are coming up to me in bars wanting my picture.” I crouched by his table for a long time waiting for the proper facial expression. After his short joking with his friends, he mostly just sat at the table quietly. He seemed to be thinking a lot. I wanted to get that on my camera. When I took this picture he was looking at nobody. He seemed to do a lot of looking at nobody.

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“Dude! That is awesome!” “yeah, I just think it’s cool to take pictures of strangers while they’re doing their own thing.” “Yeah, that is so cool. That’s awesome. Do you have a website or something?” “yes” “Dude to be honest I won’t remember that tomorrow morning.” He was very enthusiastic about my documentary photography. I think he was mostly excited that I was a BYU student that was ok with taking pictures of people at a bar. I took this picture while he was expressing his thoughts just outside the bar.

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“May I take your picture?” “Sure.”

Suburb

I normally take pictures in the city, but my circumstances didn't allow me to get out to Salt Lake on this day, so I ventured out to some homes in Provo and got people there.

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I couldn’t get my way to an urban environment before my class project was due, so I decided to start knocking some doors. I asked this nice lady if I could take a picture of a teeter totter in her front yard, but I was really hoping to get a picture of whoever lived there. The lady started talking about her daughter being a photography student, and I did my usual and took pictures while talking to them. I guess the little girl got bored while we were talking.

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I was so used to coming across interesting individuals in Salt Lake that I was getting worried I wouldn’t find anything to photograph in Provo. When I saw this guy walking down the sidewalk a half a block away, I ran to him. I couldn’t pass up a photo. He was easy to catch up to because large group of High Schoolers stopped to talk with him. “Where are you going?” “Oh I don’t know, I was thinking of just stopping at Denver or something.” “You guys think I could rest on your lawn for a little bit?” “Yeah sure, no problem.” I was really impressed with how nicely they treated this stranger.

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These are the kids who were talking to the homeless guy with a dog. I secretly dubbed them the coolest kids in town.

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I’m always trying to maintain my stance on the right side of creepy vs. documentary, which is why I’m typically too nervous to photograph children, but this was too quaint to pass up.

Cold Blue

This was Halloween day in Salt Lake City. 

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“May I take a picture of you?” “Will it be posted on Facebook?” “No” “alright.”

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“May I take picture of you?” “……………”

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This man had stone cold blue eyes. I had to crouch inches away from his face to get these pictures. He would dive in and out of ignoring me, but I waited till he looked. I couldn’t get over those eyes.

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“May I take a picture of him?” “Go on ahead. Everybody want’s to take a picture of him. We had somebody come in just the other day who wanted a picture of him.”

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“May I take picture of you?” “Haha! Yeah I guess so.” “I have a friend whose a photographer so I know how it goes.” It took me a long time to get this photo. I was right in front of her for a while, completely ruining the conversation she was having with a man friend across the table. She was nice though, and would give an intermittent chuckle, but eventually she got pretty quiet, and that’s when I snapped this picture.

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Knock on window. Point to Camera. Point to them. Take the Photo.

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I walked into a very retro barbershop.

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I saw her from outside a basement sushi restaurant. She worked there, seating customers.

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The man in the red wouldn’t stop staring at me while I was taking pictures of them. I had to wait for a while before they forgot about me. I couldn’t help but feel like this is the way Star Trek downtime really looks.

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I only got one picture of this man. He ran away from me on a bus.

Polarity

My first day on the project. I parked my car and found strangers in Salt Lake City. Everybody was weirded out for the most part, which is good because that's sort of what I was going for. 

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“Can you make me look younger on the computer?”

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In an accent that sounds like he’s from Africa. “May I have a copy of this picture after you take it?”

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I was just starting this project in Salt Lake City, and the first prospect of “not white” made me excited. So I stood in front of this girl for several minutes while she talked on the phone so I could ask her if I could take her picture. “…… sure.”

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We get into a long one sided conversation very quickly. “The church should probably start putting money into improving the homeless shelters instead of spending on Temples.. (turns to a gentle looking white haired man waiting for the Trax) FOR THE DEAD! (turns back to me) “I mean come on.” (turns back to the man) “THEY”RE DEAD!”

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This is the first person I photographed for this project. I saw him at a gas station an pulled over so I could get his picture. This is kindof weird of me, but I pulled out some change (which he wasn’t asking for) and handed it to him. “May I take your picture?” “Sure, you paid for it!” I took the picture and said thank you. But before I was able to leave he wanted to express his gratitude by letting me in on some secret information. “ The polarity of the earth is about to switch and everything is going to be flipped inside out. I’m telling you right now, you’re going to want to prepare for this. You are going to want to get yourself one of those big shovels and dig a hole. I’m serious, this is going to happen.” He seemed so sincere, and so afraid.