I watched a documentary about the career of Bill Cunningham, a photographer and columnist for the New York Times. He's been producing a fashion page in the Times for years. Though I'm not outwardly stylish, I love looking at fashion, imagining what I could get away with wearing. I also have a love for photography. Here is his page for today's edition, On The Street and here is the video of Style On The Street. I'm loving the hats.
Bill's techniques intrigued me. As well as covering fashion events, he just wanders the streets of New York City on a bicycle and snaps photos of everyday people. He's also traveled to other cities around the world, a favorite of his is Paris. I liked what he had to say about fashion, about his photography.
"When David (Montgomery) came to New York a few months later, he brought a little camera, an Olympus Pen-D half-frame. It cost about $35. He said, ''Here, use it like a notebook.'' And that was the real beginning.
I HAD just the most marvelous time with that camera. Everybody I saw I was able to record, and that's what it's all about. I realized that you didn't know anything unless you photographed the shows and the street, to see how people interpreted what designers hoped they would buy. I realized that the street was the missing ingredient.... the difference for me is I don't see the people I photograph. All I see are clothes..." From a New York Times Article, Bill on Bill, found HERE.
I think what intrigued me most about Bill Cunningham, was his disinterest in photographing the "big" name designers and celebrities exclusively. If he doesn't like a look, his camera stays down. He photographs what inspires him. What is beautiful to his eye. He watches for trends. He "collects" them in photographs. He also has a policy of treating his subjects with respect, never ridicule. When an article of his was changed, making fun of the people in his photos, he resigned from that job. Success seemed less important to him than following his heart.
It makes me wonder how much I could accomplish by doing what has meaning to me. Not trying to fit a mold, or preconceived idea that someone else has, but simply doing what brings me joy. Now that is something to consider.
© 14JAN12 ajj