I’ve always been a reluctant portrait photographer, especially where street photography is concerned. Yes, over the years I’ve had to learn to pull out the extrovert in me in many social situations but at heart I’m very much the introvert and am often too shy to ask permission to capture a stranger’s likeness. Unless I have a particular connection to the subjects I very seldom include the faces in the crowds.
Perhaps that explains my obsession with empty chairs.
I like to think that the viewer is more likely to insert themselves in these scenes when actual people don’t populate them.
I did, however, capture these photographs of a family enjoying a beach in Topsail, North Carolina in November. Their relative anonymity also makes it easy to “insert yourself” into the scene.
And although it was a cold day in South Dakota in January, who wouldn’t want to pause and sit awhile on this bench on the shores of Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota?
In this instance, including these sweet friends is what draws me to the photo. Not a portrait in the normal sense of the word, it says everything about their relationship and this particular time in their lives.
Faces not required.