Thursday, January 8, 2009

This is a weird one for me.
I was in a hurry, I had another assignment in Easton of all places, and I had to turn something in before I left to shoot that. So here's this "holiday" party (really just Christmas) at a shopping center. Carolers and such, and a Santa. Without even thinking too hard about it I determine my composition and exposure, decide on my flash (up and to the right), and shoot the first kid to go up. Then I leave, turn this in with a few of the carolers, and get on with my shift. I thought it was a fine shot, but nothing special.
I have gotten more response and praise for this photo then anything else I've ever done. People stopping me in the halls, emails, people at accident scenes asking other photographers whether they were the ones to shoot that Santa. At first I was appalled, the things I stay up at night worrying about no one seems to notice, but this makes me a hero.
Part of it is probably that since I'm Jewish, I have no personal memory of talking with Santa, it holds no nostalgia for me. But another part is a lesson I seem to need to learn over and over. My job is not only to photograph what I want to show, it is to photograph what people want to see. There is a balance there, one I need to pay more attention to.