michelle.genders via instagram

Take a photo of a person or object and tell a story about it #thejanuarychallenge #64millionartists #thehumancondition. I work in a hospital and take a break in the afternoon to stroll through the corridors and look for a subject. I often walk this route through old and worn to new and shining wards. I pay close attention (since listening to a podcast where @cherylstrayed said with respect to bring frustrated in an office job when you’d rather be creating things “it’s not the quality of the experience, it’s the quality of ATTENTION you pay to the experience”) to the situations around and there are many moments I’d love to capture. There is the entire breadth of the life span and experiences of humanity in this building. Pregnant women with exposed stomachs and people with cancer with exposed heads. People clutching flowers or sucking on a cigarette or dressed in their finest suit or shuffling in compression  socks. I could snap a sneaky shot from behind or above but that feels too intrusive when people are sick or upset. You can look at a person and project a story onto them but you can’t really know anything unless you ask them ‘what is life like for you?’. I think about trying to engage and build a rapport with one of the people enough to ask if I can take their picture and ask what they are here for. Taking a portrait is a skill which I’m interested to develop but I don’t see anyone today who appears open to being approached. I see one of my co-workers and because he is always hanging around in the tea room looking for a chat I explain this project and ask if I can take his photo. He says his story would be “I come here and I eat and sometimes I do some work” but declines to have his photo taken. Bugger. I’ve got nothing. Except a photo of this car that I saw in the car park in the final few metres of my walk. Which upon reflection, does seem to speak about how everyone experiences pain in life yet somehow we patch it up and keep on moving.