A few years ago I rediscovered what I like to call, “Improvisational Photography.” No real plan, no preconceived idea of what I need to be doing. It’s my way of playing. I usually put word out and take volunteers. One day, this little girl’s parents volunteered her for a shoot in downtown Cincinnati.
The idea is to remove a few fences and place a few rules on hold. Every now and then I find someone who is really good at playing along. This little girl might have been the best at it. She knew how to play along and has an amazing talent for improvising. I just let her go for about an hour and we played on sidewalks, in alleyways, near fountains, and wherever else we discovered. Sometimes she posed, sometimes danced, sometimes ran in circles. Incredibly, at the same time, she never lost awareness of where the camera and I were. She played along perfectly.
I imagined the gentleman walking by, chuckling to himself after seeing this colorfully dressed 7-year-old little girl playing for the camera, but also playing in her own little world.
We often put fences up around ourselves before we even begin. Rules and “should do’s” or “shouldn’t do’s” take hold and stunt the possibilities we might have otherwise seen. I don’t believe that means we become reckless, just opening up a bigger circle of what can happen. Being open to rolling with what presents itself as we go.
I always enjoy the opportunity to put a few fences aside and put a few rules on hold … but when we find others who know how to do the same and join us, it makes the experience even more rewarding.
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