Not a Fan of Small Talk

A friend once said to me that he didn’t know how to do small talk. The very effort of it shut him up. 
Do big talk, I said. Talk about what really matters, say what you really mean. 
I can’t, he said. People won’t like it.
— Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression by Sally Brampton

A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to buy balloons and go outside and shoot. You saw a few of those photos in my Balloons of Truth post. Those pictures fit the mood of the post I was writing and turned out perfectly. But I took more than the photos for that shoot, I took these, which reflected a different mood.

After driving around town for 45 minutes I finally found a quite park. The park is on a hill separating a residential area from commercial. There's a busy road at the bottom of the hill and a line of houses just seen on the horizon. I instructed maps to drive me around it and there was only one car parked, so I decided it would have to work.

My biggest fear is to be seen taking self portraits.

If you are taking pictures as a group, no one thinks twice but when it's just you, your camera, a tripod and a bunch of balloons you get some weird looks. I didn't want to talk about the reasoning behind the self portraits or the balloons. Balloons usually mean happy things for people, but I was using them as a symbol of pain. And if you didn't know, I am also super awkward around people. 

I feel like this wasn't always the case, but I've become a lot more introverted since moving to Wisconsin. I talk so rarely that a lot of the people skills I used to have are slowly disappearing. I've also grown so much as a person, that I have almost no patience. I am not sure if I considered this a bad thing or not, but it is a fact. I have no patience for small talk, sexism, or people with egos surrounding religion (and OMG people's egos when it comes to religion are HUGE). If I am out in public with Kevin, he usually does all the talking for me. When I'm by myself I do everything to get away with a nod and smile. It's probably not the best practice, but it's how I stay comfortable. 

So when I hear a group of people walking towards me and I'm out in a park full of trees, grass, and "hiding spots". I dive to disappear. 

After hiding I realized that I can't just sit there and wait for them to leave. They could be all day. So in my little corner of trees and tall grass, I set up my camera, and pretended I'm alone. Eventually finding myself concentrating on what I was doing instead of thinking about what others thought about me. Which is perfect for capturing unexpected thoughts, movement, and expressions. These are the first few photos I took that day. I think they reflect my desire to shine but hide at the same time.

Randomly one of the things I was thinking while hiding was the cost of shooting outside. There are two costs - the mental cost and the dollar cost. The mental effort of shooting outside is exhausting for me. I went straight to bed when I was done and home. It's a challenge to be creative when you are worried about someone asking questions. As for the dollar cost, I normally don't spend anything when shooting. This time though I had a plan and a certain look I was going for and that meant spending money. These photos were very costly. The weird part is that in growing my photography, I am finding the need to buy supplies. I recently bought a light to counter my yellow lights. I'm looking at building something to hold backdrops, which wouldn't be cheap to create. I bought two new batteries, so I could last longer when out and about. Photography is not a cheap hobby. The best perk about shooting at home though, is the mental state. I can shoot whenever I want, however I feel, and without the worry of others. 

I am not sure which I prefer. Outdoor shoots are an interesting challenge and they really stretch me as a person. Indoors challenges me to find new ways to present the same thing. I want to continue to grow as a photographer, so I think there needs to be a good balance of both. Summer out, winter in, is probably what will actually happen. Whether I am outside where there's a high physical and mental cost or inside with new lights I just have to keep putting my best foot forward. Maybe one day it won't be to run for the bushes. 

SIDE NOTE: The cost of this particular shoot 

Shirt - $35.49
Shoes - $110.01 (which you can't even see and you can barely see them here)
Props - Balloons and Helium $51.13
Things I already had include the shorts, lipstick and bracelet (that you also can't see)