Anyway, this is mostly about the latter half of the opening sentence. The thing is, I most often prefer to take pictures alone. Wandering around the streets of Richmond, I seek out the cliché subject matter: decay, strange vandalism, quirky signs, and so forth. I’ve enjoyed a number of photo-strolls with my wife and a few friends, sure, but there’s a subconscious constraint every time I go out with other folks; I have to stay with the group.
I say it’s a subconscious constraint because nobody ever really enforces this. I’m sure I could head out to Scott’s Addition to shoot some old commercial buildings with my buddies and just pick a meeting point and time where we rejoin after burning through a few rolls of film (or space on a memory card). But when I’m with other folks I feel pressure to stick with the group, and that’s because recreational photography with friends is a social activity. I don’t just get together with Dave or Jake to take pictures. I get together with them to hang out because I don’t get to see them that often. This social aspect, of course, means that I take any opportunity I can to take pictures with my friends. But when I really want to get out and turn ideas in my head into negatives/positives/JPGs, I’d rather be on my own.
It’s also, along with the aforementioned drive between school and home, some of the little “me” time I allow myself.