Saturday, March 05, 2011

I spy

Dresses at V. Lotus

Manic Mannequins at Doug Up On Bourke

Rings from I Ran the Wrong Way

Breakfast at Little Marionette
When I first moved to Sydney, I had some time off before going back to work and so I started the blog A Place A Day. It's quite labour-intensive: I identify a place that is of interest, take around 40 photographs there, distill them down to 20 or so, and write a short paragraph about what I found interesting. Often I would end up covering the place where I had lunch. I put pressure on myself to do it almost every day; and now I'm back at work it's impossible to keep up, so it's more of a place a week (or less) and the title has proved to be fraudulent.
What I learned in doing this was that one of my favourite aspects of the process, apart from photographing and then eating food, was talking to the people who owned the place. Inspired by my friend Davey's Shot by Shooter blog (hands down the best, and most interesting, street fashion blog in operation), I decided to take my camera to work with me and shoot people who catch my eye in the street for Sydney Spy.

Sometimes people say no (older women are often very reluctant, and I lost a beautiful girl in a jewel-coloured gown who said she felt she looked terrible today); sometimes they say yes, then affect an attitude (the only photographs I haven't used so far are of someone who posed petulantly then said "are you done yet?" – why not just say no?). I'm drawn, not to obviously dressed-up or self-important people, but to people who are just quietly going about their day with their own style, and by definition this often means that they're camera-shy.

Someone said to me they'd be too shy to go up to people in the street, but I enjoy the interaction, particularly the pleasure on their faces when I tell them how good I think they look, and I like the idea that they go away feeling good about themselves.

What I've also discovered is that fashion bloggers are very different from food bloggers: for one thing they are almost all women, many of whom photograph themselves and not others: obsessively cataloguing their outfits every day. I'm far happier behind a camera than in front of it.

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