When I first started reporting and photographing back in sophomore year, nothing in the job matched the terror of walking up to strangers and interrupting their lives for my pipsqueak job. I would scope out the people who looked the least busy and awkwardly hover near them, silently rehearsing my ask and working up the nerve to ask it. Journalism, luckily, is nothing but talking to strangers and undoing the grade-school conditioning. After doing it again and again and again, talking to people became easy — as long as it was obvious why I was there, such as a protest or parade to cover. But when I’ve had no reason except what’s essentially a hobby, as with everything you see here, it can still feel like sophomore year.
A weekly photo blog is a solid way to (slowly) get over it. I think I talked to a record number of strangers yesterday during the second part of my plan to photograph the length of the Razorback Greenway. I’ve broken free of grade school! And I found aerial yoga enthusiasts, picnickers and a graffiti park full of abandoned concrete mixers because of it. There’s also congregation of empty Porta Potties out there, if anyone needs one.
Here’s to facing fears, opening up and enjoying the warmth while it lasts. Thanks for looking.