Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bulletin: I'm Not To Be Trusted

You know, or perhaps you don't, that I recently took up photography as a serious hobby. I've always had creative outlets. For a decade a threw pots on a potter's wheel* and here's the rub: what led me to enroll in my very first pottery class in the summer of 2000 was I was looking for a photography class in which to enroll. There were none available at that facility at the time, so I took the clay class on a whim.  

A dozen years later, I've come full circle. 

I learned a bit about pottery and all the affects it can have on others when I was knee-deep in the hobby. What it does not do, however, is freak people out.  

Which photography seems to do on a regular basis. Three times in five days I experienced people making a point of coming up to me when I was taking pictures (of STUFF, mind, not sneaking pictures of people from across the street)and asked me what I was doing.  

And not in a nice way either. Nope. It was in a what-the-hell-are-you-DOING kind of way. 

I had not one, but two dudes ask what I was doing when I got this shot: 

They're behind a transmission shop in OKC. 
Gee, I don't know? Taking pictures. Which, hello? Last time I checked wasn't illegal. 

But I'm beginning to learn people are really paranoid. 

I ended up with a portrait from one guy, but the other fella was almost hostile. I returned to my vehicle after I'd been gone (circling the block, snapping away) a good 20 minutes and he literally knocked on my car window for the sole purpose of interrogating me. Why was I taking the pictures? What's my name? What's the name of my blog? It really surprised me. When I gave it more thought after he was gone, I concluded he had been waiting on me. He knocked within 30 seconds of me arriving back to my car.  

Here's some irony: just two nights ago I was taking pictures outside my old clay studio. There was a clay class going on at the time, but I never pointed my camera in the direction of the windows. I was taking pics of the sculptures in front of the building and of this: 

Yet the clay instructor came outside and asked why I was taking pictures, was I taking a class, what was the subject matter of my pictures...  

I was in front of a public building. 

That the city owns.  

That also happens to be an ART CENTER which offers photography classes.  

What. The. Fuck?  

To be fair he was nice. Apparently though, someone in his class as some anxiety issues. Because she came outside and listened to our conversation, arms folded, piercing stare, never said a word. She seemed skeptical that I was merely an amateur photographer and not, you know, a member of the CIA or FBI. Or a terrorist.

For the record, I'm not.**

I just like typography and texture. 

Fine, I like people too. 

Allow me to take this opportunity to pimp my new people blog. 

Which was really the whole reason for this post. -> 

PS: In all seriousness, I offered both gentlemen the opportunity to see my pictures to prove that I wasn't some spy, just a hobbiest. They declined. It did irritate that I was put on the defense. I'm thinking business cards might make me seem more legit, but I wouldn't want anything serious on there. Something like: Tanya Mattek, Wannabe Photographer. 

*not my picture
**An employee of the CIA or FBI, I mean. Apparently my status as a terrorist is questionable. 


Carolyn said...

I vote for terrorists. After all you have this fixation about guns. And you're a social worker. Definitely questionable behavior. LOL

Tanya said...

OMG, you're so right. I AM a terrorist. Shhhh...

Nectarine said...

About the business card idea: go for it! My sister in law (who is an amaaazing baker) goes by "The Wannabe Chef". It's on her cards and everything.

Also, I'm digging the new blog! It made me think of an anti-Iraq war protest I went to when I was in University. I remember a guy asking if he could photograph my friend and I. I was wearing a raincoat and holding a sign from the Iranian Communist Party. Now, I am neither Iranian or a Communist, I was just young and so excited that someone had offered me a free sign! I can't help but wonder where that photograph ended up...

Tanya said...

I think my tag line is going to be: I'm not a real photographer, but I play one on the internet.

thanks for checking it out! I'm having fun with it. And are you sure you're not a communist? You are a social worker after all...

Baysage said...

Hostile jerks because you're taking pictures? . . . this is what this country has become. What the f--k is wrong with people? It just pisses me off to hear this. What is the matter with this country? I'm sick of it. I'm sick of all the paranoia, the meanness, the suspicion, the hostility. Damn it all. I'm going to blog this anger. Damn it! This has really made me mad.

Anonymous said...

TOOOOOOOO MUCH - It is sad how people are full of so much fear - fear immobilizes a person Mom