This is my town. I love it here. Everyone knows everyone else, and there is character everywhere I look. I used to think Cartersville, GA had no street photography potential. I could not be more wrong!
No, there are no skyscrapers. Nope, no bustling city streets. And thank goodness no crazy dude yelling at an invisible subject while digging through the trash. I know, where’s the fun in that? What do we have to shoot if not for grand city views and over the top interesting characters, right?
The fact is, I have discovered a lot! And there are a few ways to capture the quirkiness and personality of any town. The only thing that really matters is you vision. No plane ticket, no city, no new camera on the market will give you that. It comes from within. Keep reading…
Look up! There isn’t a skyscraper, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting. look at interesting shapes. I had hoped for an interesting reflection in the windows for this shot, but as it was, I liked this pedestrian sign “walking” to a local shop.
Look for pops of red. Ok, so it can be any color really, but red is just so much fun to shoot! I may do a photo project soon where I only photograph one color.
Look for humor. If nothing else, it makes you smile every time you look at it.
Look for inside. I found this terrific little coffee shop called Southern Muggs Coffee, located on main street. But some of my favorite shots were inside the shop after I sat down to rest. Here, I found great color and humor. This speaks to my family particularly. How about you?
Look for the unexpected. Charming subjects pop up all the time anywhere you go. This super cute cat caught me completely off guard. I love this shot.
Keep looking. The world around you is always changing. Just because you have already looked in a spot doesn’t mean you have already shot it. This mural was brand new and no one, including myself, had any idea that this mural was a work in progress!
Tell a story. In most cases, the story unfolds quickly and the moment is fleeting. This man outside the shop was gone literally seconds after I got this shot. I looked up, and he was suddenly there. This was the only shot I got of this scene, so it is a really good thing that I had kept my camera out and was ready to shoot super fast!
“If you want to be a photographer, first leave home.” -Steve McCurry
I hope this post has helped you and that you are able to go forward seeing the beauty of where you live. I hope you will take a fresh look around your town, big or small, with a new appreciation and creative vision. Street Photographer Evan Ranpht once said that we who live in small towns are actually at an advantage that those who live in places like New York or Chicago might never know. I believe this is so true! I agree.
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