I experienced a “double-take” experience Saturday night at this upscale hotel in Arlington, VA and I just happen to have my camera with me–as every good photojournalist should.
I guess what struck me was the fact that these two brutish-looking dogs were sniffing and snorting around across the lobby of this elegant hotel. Re-directing their owner this way and that in a place where people with the means control everything around them–not the other way around. It is interesting how a moment that happened in a blink of an eye could make me think so much about why this situation was funny to me. I’ll try to articulate. But first your honor, I would like to introduce Exhibit A.
Have you ever been someplace and encountered a person, a group of people, or watched an interaction you simply never expected to come across at that type of place? I have. I posed the question so I best have something to say about it.
I find it interesting how our mind is always trying to simplify. It observes, takes notes, and starts to associate x-type of people behaving in certain ways at certain places. And once we see an X-type of person we don’t have to think or work at understanding them (and often don’t even try) because they fit neatly into our mind’s created category. I think it all may come down to the fact that our mind’s inherently wants to work as little as possible and thus, decrease the amount of wrinkles on our foreheads (yes, my forehead wrinkles when I’m puzzled and in computation.)
If my expectations of x are met then all is well. But when the neat and structure x starts behaving like a flamboyant j my mind starts spending all of its resources on trying to figure out why the x is not truly not acting like an x. I often think like this when I am enjoying my day on my own or photographing for an assignment. What makes me look twice? What is out of the ordinary? It is these moments like these that make me stop and go “huh.” They often make me laugh too. I think these odd and often awkward moments translate well into single moments–into photographs. I think that is the reason that almost any photograph with a nun is humorous. A nun at McDonalds–funny. A group (repetition adds to the humor) of nuns ice skating–also funny. A nun in a church–well not so funny because that is where our minds think nuns should be. All that to say that this quiet and subtle moment caught me off guard. frown, and made me smile.