When you first take up photography as a hobby, you have a general idea of the types of things you want to take capture with the camera. Usually, you start with beaches and sunsets and work your way up to buildings and other structures. Sometime after that, you decide to move on to live subjects. There’s only one problem…you never really thought about how awkward it’s going to be taking pictures of people who don’t even know you.
Welcome to my world.
Saturday morning, I wandered over to the baseball field I played at growing up. It’s been at least 15 years since I’ve stepped foot on their grass and when I finally come back, it’s to capture the memories of other kids. I felt kinda sketchy. I mean, who takes pictures of other people’s children except child molesters and Sears? But, you can look anywhere online and find pictures of random kids doing random things, so apparently, it’s not all that uncommon.
When I first arrived at the park, there was a t-ball game being played on the far field, but I was staying away, choosing only to shoot scenic shots on one of the empty fields. Ya gotta put your toes in the water before you jump right in and do the backstroke. Eventually, after 20 minutes of putzing around–including a trip to the snack bar for a $2, 16oz. bottle of soda (WTF?!)–I manned up and started snapping shots of the kids. Fuck it. If a parent is gonna be weirded out by me, they’ll have to deal with it, because if I was going to get any decent shots, I’d have to forget anyone was even looking at me. I gotta say, after about 10 pictures, it wasn’t even a thought in my mind. The only thing I was focused on were the five-year-olds, attempting to play baseball, only creating some new version of the sport where there are no base paths and tackling is totally allowed. Kids can be cute when they aren’t in your immediate family and destroying your shit.
After that, I made my way to a game with older kids, about 10-12 years-old, that more closely resembled the traditional form of baseball. The one with a pitcher, catcher and some semblance of organization.
All in all, it was a pretty good day to shoot. Maybe I did look a little strange to some people and maybe some parents had their fingers on the keypad of their phones, ready to press 9-1-1. All I know is that I got some pretty awesome shots. You can check the Flickr page to see more than just the one above.
(Special thanks to Michelle for accompanying me, making me feel 1000X less awkward about what I was doing.)
Where It All Began [Flickr]
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