Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

alastair.arthur@gmail.com

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Starting Slow

Earlier on this week I noticed a woman practicing with a hula hoop (the large plastic ones, not the small potato snacks). At first I assumed she was a beginner. She was just standing, holding the ring, watching others in the park. Then she started gradually moving the ring around in front of her, slowly, thoughtfully, almost like she was in a trance. Her moves got gradually more extensive and expressive, but no less graceful, until it was more like a full stage or gymnastic performance.


I saw something similar with skateboarders in the park. Starting slowly, carefully, as if reassuring themselves that the board and the ramps felt the same as they did yesterday. Just riding a little first. Then a few simple tricks. Comfort zone stuff. Warming up.


I like the idea of starting slowly with a camera, on a photoshoot or on the streets. Not expecting too much too soon. Approaching it patiently. Carefully checking the settings, feeling the grip - familiar, reassuring. Taking a few test shots. Sometimes I need to take that first shot to relax a little more, to know that I've started, I'm back in the familiar territory of a making pictures. Thoughtful and intentional.


(I'm currently in England for a few days and doing everything on my phone so hoping this appears ok. After that I have a few days in a camper van in Iceland. Just me and the camera and a little exploration).



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