SeaTac Airport Layover Challenge | Personal Projects

September 28, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

So, back in July I was flying home after photographing my cousin's wedding in Homer, Alaska and I ended up having a 3 hour lay-over in Seattle. I was bummed out cause I was tired and just wanted to be home already. I headed to the food court to find a place to sit down and maybe stare at my phone for a few hours. But when I sat down, I looked around and noticed that the light streaming through the windows was really beautiful. I started people watching at all the other weary travelers around me and noticed they they all had such similar looks on their faces; pure boredom. And I thought to myself "Gosh, I wish I had a happy couple to photograph in this light." and then I had an idea. One of those weird crazy ideas that you might get but then just brush off cause it's too weird and would require you to really challenge yourself. Yeah, one of those. But instead of brushing it off, I decided to do it. My idea was to ask some of these bored out of their mind people to model for me. To approach these complete strangers, with my camera and ask if they'd let me take their photos. I figured, I've got three hours to kill, what's the worse thing they could say?  No? Well, that wouldn't be so bad and then I'd at least have tried this idea. 

So I got my camera out, looked around and started asking people if they'd help me with a personal photography project. And out of the 10 different people I asked, 6 agreed. Some of them gave me their email addresses so I could send them the photos after, others just hurried on to their connecting flight, but a few stayed and chatted with me and before I knew it, my layover was over and I was genuinely sad that I had to stop talking to strangers. 

Yes, for the most part it was awkward. But for me that was the challenge, to see if I could get these people who I didn't know, who were likely tired and somewhat stressed and in a very public and non-romantic environment to connect with me and with each other very quickly. These photos aren't going to win any awards, but they represent something to me, that with just a little interest and attention, people open up to you and what you see is worthy of attention. I'm proud of myself for not brushing off the idea and for stepping out and trying something. I can honestly say I'm hoping for another long lay-over so I can try this again.


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