|Outside the Festival - Austin, Texas - January 21, 2013|
This was the last photo I took for the MLK Day festival. I was done for the day and we were walking back to our car. Just outside the festival grounds at the University is a residential area. I heard this woman yelling to kids inside the house, while raking leaves in her yard. She seemed strained from the loud music that was blasting half a block away. Without even really thinking about it, I lifted up the camera and snapped one picture. I think she might have heard it, but I just kept on walking with my sister and the woman kept on with her yard work.
Street photography isn't something I usually do and it sometimes takes me a while even in a controlled environment to get up close. It wasn't until I got home and zoomed in real tight that I realized she's looking right at me. At first I was quite proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and taking pictures just to take pictures, but now I feel very much a coward.
This picture is not representative of Eli Reed's photography at all. I feel that it is the opposite, but I'm posting it because it reminds me of an important lesson that Eli taught me that I forgot on this day. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained!" Courage is not something they can teach you in the classroom, it is something to be inspired by and then found on your own. Eli has travelled all over the world taking pictures, and the most important thing in his "camera bag" is his courage. He has no fear of getting up close. This is something that I admire greatly about him.
Eli Reed is currently the clinical professor of photojournalism at UT. Check out some of his work here.