2016 Photo Challenge: January

This post is the first of a 12-part photo challenge for 2016 to capture “personality” on the street. This challenge is inspired by  Valerie Jardins podcast This Week in Photos: Street Focus, the episode “2016 Resolutions,” featuring Marco Larousse.  

My first month of the challenge was a lot different than I had imagined. To start off, I wasn’t able to go out and shoot because of work commitments and later a missing European converter for my charger. No battery, no camera.

When I finally got a chance to go out and shoot, I found myself paralyzed with fear. I would see what I imagined to be a perfect shot, and later avoid clicking the shutter. I was scared of confrontation and had never realized how much it would affect my ability to take photos. It was also the first time I practiced photography in my home country. When I’m traveling, everything I see seems exciting and different. Finding inspiration in the U.S. was much more difficult. I realized I relied much more on the “exoticism” of a new place instead of artistic talent.

Nevertheless, I’ve managed to find a photo for the purposes of this challenge. Below the photo of the month I’ve placed others I considered. Comments and criticisms welcome.

Photo of the Month

Two women show their support at the Pride March in Melbourne, Australia.


While based on skill I don’t believe the photo of the month is of top quality, it fulfills the category “personality.” I took this photo at the Midsumma Pride March in Melbourne, Australia on January 31, 2016. These two women stood around after the parade and laughed and posed with attendees. They caught my attention because of their creative protest and colorful demeanor.

Other considerations:

Break dancers perform in in the Central Business District of Melbourne, Australia.

On Saturday night, my friend and I were roaming around the CBD of Melbourne when we came across a group of street performers called Young Masters. They were an incredibly talented group of boys with immense strength. They were doing tricks I’ve never seen before. While they were amazing, I was more drawn to the two girls watching behind them. They have style and attitude, but what I loved was the juxtaposition of the enthusiasm in their style with the lack of enthusiasm for the incredible talent the boys had. Most of the performance, they looked bored out of their minds.

The following photo was taken during a walk around Midtown last week. I saw this truck driver smoking and playing something on his cell phone that was making me laugh. I wish I would have gotten closer and a better view of his face.

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A truck driver smokes a cigarette in Midtown.

Photo Challenge of 2016: Capturing Personality

I recently listen to Valerie Jardin‘s podcast This Week in Photos: Street Focus. The episode “2016 Resolutions,” featuring Marco Larousse,  explores new and different ways of challenging yourself as a photographer.

Lisbon, Portugal.

The hosts discuss that a good way to expand your skills and try new things is by setting an ongoing project. Some photographers aim for a 365 day, others a 52 (once per week). That feels a little too ambitious for me. But I still want to partake in a project that will help me develop skillz (yes, skills with a “z”).  In 2015, I started to learn, mainly with travel photography. In 2016, I plan on working on learning more about photography and expanding to different genres.

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Istanbul, Turkey.

For my ongoing project,  I am going practice street photography and publish one photo a month. The theme of my monthly photos will be: Personality.

Why personality? I decided this topic because that is one of the reasons I love to travel. I travel to see other people- how they react, how they interact with with other and their environments. I want to practice capturing those moments I love to witness.

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I was far away when I took this picture in Istanbul. My goal this year is to go closer to my subject.

Because I am typically shy photographing people in public, this project will take me out of my comfort zone. I am going to challenge myself to engage with street photography, to take out the camera where normally I might be shy, and to not be afraid of talking to people about what I am doing.

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Mixing and mixing and mixing some more.I got close to the subject, but I asked his permission before, which disturbed what attracted me to the scene in the first place. Istanbul, Turkey.

Valerie Jardin always reminds her listeners- the newbies are shy. They’re embarrassed. And they hurt themselves by feeling that they are doing something wrong. This year, I will be brave! I won’t hide behind my zoom lens!

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I’m much more comfortable shooting from behind. However, I love faces! I’d rather see those… Istanbul, Turkey.

I look forward to your constructive comments. Best of luck you to you in your resolutions.

Featured photo: A vintage car lot in Brittany, France.