Monday, 21 July 2008

The weird science of stock photography

A while back, a friend of mine—a guy who does a lot of directing work—was asked to shoot some rather odd film footage. It was all brief scenes of people ignoring each other. Families talking on cell phones, couples tapping at adjacent laptops, everyone looking in opposite directions.

I wish I had known about this last week. I do not usually take pictures of people, but I have been trying to get into it more. And while in Paris, I had a go at some candid shots (like this one)

But if I had known there was demand for a shot like the one described above, Monday lunchtime I could have obliged. We were climbing the Butte in Montmatre and stopped for lunch half way up. All we needed was to sit down and a cold drink, but since it was that time of day added a croque m'sieur. My daughter likes to sit outside, so we squeezed in to the only available table, which was a bit like sharing. The couple (early thirties, smart) had a small child in a stroller. They ignored each other - and the child - and spent most of the time talking on their cell phones, and juggling more than one caller at a time too.

All I thought was that if I was that guy I would spend a lot more time talking to my spouse and baby - and being a holiday the calls could go to voice mail - at least until the kid went down for a nap. She was a stunner - and he had not even bothered to shave.

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