This weeks’s WordPress “Photo Challenge“theme is “Everyday Life”. The challenge is to find and create beauty from people doing the most everyday things in their lives. I’ve chosen–not one, but–two (!) pictures for this week.
The first picture above (be sure to click it to view it full-size) is of one of my very best friends during a trip she made to Philadelphia a few years ago. This is one of those friends that you immediately connect with and can go years without talking to, and yet can pick up right where you left off when you see each other again.
She had visited Philly and I had just finished showing her and a couple of our friends the campus of my seminary. We then went to a local pizza shop called “The Pizza Box” that us seminarians would frequent between classes.
Lots of amazing moments and conversations in my life had occurred in that pizza shop, and this laugh I caught her in captures so perfectly how I felt about her visit, this pizza parlor, where I was in my life, and the collision of my Richmond college world with my new Philly seminary one. If you look closely, you can see how she is just out of focus, with my immediate present being the primary object of focus in the picture. Oh the symbolism!
It was a good visit, and that was a good day.
This second picture is of one of my oldest friends; a man who’s made many appearances on this blog, usually in the form of his pictures (though his amazing writing can be found at my old online magazine). It was taken about two-and-a-half years ago at (what is arguably the best coffee-shop in Philly) Ultimo Coffee.
I love this picture so much for so many reasons. First, he hates his picture being taken (which is part of the deeply psychological reason why he went to school for photography, haha), and so, usually, every picture of him is of him making a face, trying to be funny or dramatic, blurrily moving out of frame, scowling, or flicking off the camera–all things that are not truly “him“.
But this picture is different. He’s just letting the picture capture him as he resigns himself to it. He’s not posing, he’s not “trying”, he’s not “making” the picture be something other than a representation of himself. It shows the seriousness and thoughtfulness with which he lives much of his life, the weight he carries on his shoulders, and the shadow in which he feels he lives at times.
The other reason I love this (and feel it captures this theme so well) is because my relationship with this guy was established all those years ago, primarily over many, many, many cups of coffee at my favorite Richmond coffee shop, Crossroads. And so, to see us, years later, still hanging out over coffee is greatly encouraging as it pertains to the future of our friendship.
And lastly, I think it’s just a pretty picture. The contrasts, the sepia tones, the grainy immediacy of it, and the (again) slightly out-of-focus subject lend to this picture a grittiness and raw “presentness” that is the primary substance of “everyday life”.
See all my Weekend Photo Challenges here.
This is WordPress’ little plug for the Weekly Photo Challenges:
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.
Here’s how it works:
1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.
2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.