It all started with my daughter Hannah’s first stage performance. She was 2, and cast for the role of a fruit-carrier in her school’s Ibong Adarna production. Hannah performed beautifully, and at the curtain call, she danced delightedly with the rest of the cast and crew. My wife and I took in her sheer joy.
The event convinced me to take up photography in earnest. Shortly after the show, I looked for options. DSLRs had always intrigued me, but I gravitated to mirrorless cameras because of their lightness and versatility. I decided on the Fujifilm X-E1, and took to photographing my family straight away. Over the next few days, I generated some satisfying family images: But the X-E1 must have had street photography in its DNA. As soon as I learned the basics, I searched for more subjects to document. About a week after acquiring the X-E1, I wrapped its strap around my wrist and walked out the door. The results were bad. My images exposed the fears I had of engaging new subjects and connecting with others openly.
I tried editing some of the pictures to highlight some accidentally interesting content, but there was no editing the fact that I was shrinking back instead of reaching out: Strangely, the very next day, I found myself walking out the door again. I wrapped the camera strap around my wrist and resolved to use my camera properly, to engage subjects instead of hiding in plain sight, and to learn how to see.