06 July 2013

On Photographs and People

I like photographs. I'm not much of a photographer (or a filmmaker, either, I tried once. go see Screenriffs if you want an epic blog about filming) but I like just seeing them. I'm not like my grandmother who has to take at least 5 pictures every time we see her, but it's great to at least keep some pictures of what you're doing. Examples include the Renaissance Faire, and that's it. *sighs* I live a very boring life...

Last night I was looking at several pictures from 2009. That's four years ago. I was a child four years ago. I still am, if you want to get technical, but I'm 15, so that's beside the point. I was way younger, and fatter, and a lot more weird-looking. (Actually I'm more weird looking now.)

But besides from time elapsing, there's one thing about pictures that really makes me wonder. Random people.

There is a picture of me and my parents and godparents shortly after my baptism. I was one, I believe. The picture would have been normal, everyone was smiling, it was in the church which made it official looking - except for the fact that completely randomly, not three feet away from my mom, the leftmost of the people in the picture, there's a little girl, probably around four or five, turning to walk.

It wasn't like the girl wanted to be in the picture and was posing. She likely was trying to get out of the way but the picture caught her in its timeless embrace of color and endless solidarity. In any case, it makes for a rather bizarre picture, namely because whoever took the pictures on June 26th, 1999 didn't feel like taking one without the girl. Or they just didn't notice till it was too late. We'll never know. And my parents can't identify her, she was probably part of some other family.

So I hope you see what I'm trying to get at here. Random people in photographs make me wonder, and get me very interested in them. Not like in a creepy way, but just who they are, and how they happened to drop into my life and photographs, for the briefest of moments, and then leave, never to be seen again.

The most common place for random outsiders to show up in photos are in theme parks. County fair, Disneyland, Six Flags. All are good examples, but usually a lot of people show up, dispelling the mystery. It's more mysterious if it's just one person, preferably walking close by, with their face distinguishable from shadow. You're probably like, "who is this nutjob trying to look at random people?" I promise I'm not, it's just mystery. I like mystery.

I'd show examples right now but I can't find any. Go figure. Coincidence? I think not.


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