Documenting Life-What are their stories?

Spanish wash woman copy
Laundry lady in a Portuguese courtyard

Today I came across a photography competition (Lens Culture) being held somewhere. It’s online and international. I saw that the winners of the competition will have their photos exhibited somewhere in Paris. The competition closes in April and anyone can submit one single photo, five single photos or five photos that are part of a project where the photos are linked together to be a project or tell a sequential story. I chose the five single photos and I also paid the small extra fee to receive a critique back on them from the judges. If I am not going to end up in Paris at least someone from another part of the world will explain to me why not.

Now, I am not a professional photographer by any means as I’ve never made a cent from my photos.  But I am somewhat of a dreamer and I can see me walking in to the well lit gallery on a Parisian street with dozens of wonderful street photography hanging on the walls. Standing around in a quirky outfit with other people in interesting dress. I might even wear a hat. We’d be sipping champagne discussing the settings we used in our cameras and the experiences of dealing with the people we stalked through the streets.

(Though I am more of a photographer that sneaks up from behind.)

As it is fun to give things a go, even when you know you have no chance, being in that moment for a second, on a cold, blustery, rainy Tasmanian day is a fun way to live once in awhile.

Moscow Woman fix shoe
Making herself more comfortable on a street in Moscow while life passes by.

My favourite genre of photography is Street Photography.  Documenting life. Street photography are photos that presumably tell a story. I also try very hard to not take a photo of anyone holding a mobile phone unless it is imperative to the story.  All of us are living stories each day that very few people ever witness.  I like that about life.

Often I will sit in traffic and be stopped at a light. How often do you watch people cross the street in front of your car and wonder what’s in the shopping bag or think about where they are coming from? How did they spend their afternoon? Probably not too exciting but the thought does cross my mind. I enjoy looking at the expressions on their faces and while really stuck in a long line of traffic, begin to make up stories in my head about them.


Moscow Men and Dog
Two friends hanging out on a Moscow street. The dog has his own agenda.

Perhaps she wouldn’t be so cranky if her son hadn’t just slammed the car door on her and disappeared down the street. Or the three girls giggling because their school day has finished and they have big plans for the weekend.  How good will it feel for the elderly lady, carrying too many groceries in that bag, hoping she makes the bus and can finally relax when she gets home.  It is no wonder I love books so much. It also keeps me calm when some idiot does something on the road where I want to ram him or her. I won’t describe the stories I think up for that person but *hint* it involves crime and will I get away with it?

Morocco:    Waiting for his friend to come back with jumper cables maybe?

It is with the idea of these little stories happening every second of the day and night, right around the world that I decided to enter five of my favourite shots I have taken whilst travelling. I may never hear of them again which is most probable but I’ve had fun making up the dream and working with the photos.

I share them here with you today.

Cleaning lady
A Street Cleaning Woman on a street in Seville, Spain.

and last but not least…………….

Tasmania penguin tourist copy
Penguin exploring Tasmanian wilderness.

11 thoughts on “Documenting Life-What are their stories?

  1. Your photos are stunning. I hope they win and will keep my fingers crossed. They all tell a story. I like the way you imagine stories with the photos. Maybe a book in the making? I tend to fantasies about old, ruined houses. Good luck.


    1. Thank you Lizbeth. I take photographs for fun and do enter some in competitions but I am not overly experienced. If I did a book or something it would become a job and as I worked for 40 years I’m going to keep it fun. Thank you for your vote of confidence though.


  2. Like you I would never label myself a photographer. I’m a little old lady equipped with a cellphone that takes great pics, and like you, I enjoy taking pics on the fly – quirky people, memorable moments. Good luck with your comp entries.


  3. You realise that it is ok to dream about people crossing the street, but illegal to photograph them (from behind the wheel).
    You and I have different dreams about how we’d look on the world stage. I’d be all in black with a very smart black overcoat.


    1. I only dream of winning photography competitions. No photographing behind the wheel. When I drive I only drive. I’m pedantic about it. 54 years and have never touched another car with mine. Will save the photos for outdoors. 🙂 I do like the sound of what you would wear on the world stage. I could see a big Leica around your neck with that outfit. haha


  4. you have a good eye for spotting what other people overlook so good luck in the competition. . Your traffic lights scenario is an exercise that writers could also follow.


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