Since coming to Italy, I have been overwhelmed with the glossiness of fashion magazine-like characters walking around the city. God knows I do love Durham, but it unfortunately lacks the groomed refinement of the Milanese.
If cameras had years like a dog has canine years, I'd say Nelson has reaching his teething stage. He's chewing and biting his way to snap everything in sight. Every where I turn there's something to shoot. My camera went crazy in Rome- with good reason though. Aster, my first "muse"- was such a great subject to capture on camera. She has a child-like buoyancy that magnetizes and the inner calmness of a Diana. If Leonardo da Vinci had painted Mona Lisa's whole body, I'm sure we would have found black steel converse pumps with rainbow shoe laces over her striped leggings-- a la inspiration di Aster.
I took at least 600 pictures in one day in Rome, of which one was a true gem. See below. It captures Aster with Roman-esque frivolity. Aster posted this picture, and within 24 hours it got 124 likes on Facebook.
The response to the picture got me hungrier to take more pictures of people. I was thinking about what models I would use, and then it dawned on me that I was surrounded by models. Everywhere I looked people were taking selfies. I like to call selfies- braggarts. They are all at once narcissistic (showing off on 'gram or FB status) and beautifully intimate, as a portrait ought to be. Though I do love seeing selfies, I imagine that there are many that wish someone else could take the picture, especially those people with obnoxiously short arms.
Then I thought to myself, the next time I see some braggarts, I'll ask if they want me to take a picture. I started doing this at the Colosseum, where there are countless braggarts, and I loved the response I got. Everyone's reaction was nearly the same, a bit surprised for a split second but very eager to jump on the chance. I met people from Brazil, Italy, Norway, and Taiwan. It was a lot of fun.
In return, I thought I could ask those whom I found interesting for a portrait with my camera. See below. These two are in front of the Spanish steps, sweet couple. I had fun snapping away at them. They were so natural about me taking their picture.
So thank you Rome for teaching me about the art of give and take.