Untitled, Dallas Dog Parade, 2010
“People are so wonderful that a photographer has only to wait for that breathless moment to capture what he wants on film.” – Arthur “Weegee” Fellig
Street photography is how I learned to make images. I had the good fortune to learn the medium in the late 1990’s. just before the digital revolution. This was at Richland College in Dallas and I received a great photographic education there from Wayne Loucas and Roy Cirigliana. I suppose the attraction is to some degree the anticipation of those gems that present themselves unexpectedly, wild art as they call it in the newsroom. We looked at many many photographers and I was always drawn to the work of street photographers like Winogrand, Friedlander, Bresson and of course Weegee.
Getting in position was the hard part in making this image because there were several other photographers there, and we were competing for a good spot. One of them actually growled at me under his breath as I was getting in position. For me it was about this magical moment, the breathless moment Weegee describes in the above quote. Weegee was sort of brash and gruff fellow, and this quote always struck me as being oddly out-of-place with that projected personality of his. Tender almost. Needless to say the other photographer failed in his efforts to scare me off and I was rewarded with this lovely image. There have been many such instances, times I had to push things a bit to get the image I really envisioned. Don’t let fear get in your way.
For more on bravery behind the camera I recommend the video “I Fight With My Camera” with the late, great Charles Moore: