A thousand words?
They say…a picture is worth a thousand words, but there are also times when photos raise more questions than they answer.
Such was the case when we spotted this building in New Orleans’ French Quarter a couple of weeks ago. The building is battered and worn and the shutters don’t look like they would be much use in a hurricane. Yet the balconies of each of these apartments, with greenery and shade umbrellas, are inviting and look as if they house permanent residents.
The French Quarter is so tourist-oriented that it’s hard for me to imagine the lifestyles of “real” (non-vacationing) people who live and work in the midst of party-minded tourists. Who lives there? What kind of work does he do? Does the tenant of the corner apartment have children or a dog? What is life like in a place that is as resolutely outrageous as the French Quarter is? Is this a romantic existence, or is her life as everyday routine as my own suburban lifestyle?
Though I will never know the answers to my questions, these photographs are a good reminder to me that I will usually only know my side of the story of my images. I need to keep that in mind next time I’m shooting in a similar situation and, if possible, talk to locals to get a better sense of place and time than my own observations yield. Beyond that, I’m reminded (again) how important it is to put words with my photographs—because if I don’t record my own thoughts and impressions about an image, how will anyone else know why an image was important enough to me to take and to save?This post is for one of the assignments in Kat Sloma’s Journey of Recognition course which, in turn, is part of Kat’s Find Your Eye series of classes. My session of Journey of Recognition ended a couple of weeks ago, but I’m trying to finish these assignments before the next course, Journey of Inspiration, starts in mid-October. You can find information about the entire series here.