Reaction to the Readings

Both sections of Gross & Shapiro we read really talked about the idea of losing a sense of self and becoming one with the environment. Within Taoism and Buddhism, the idea of self doesn't really exist. Who you are is determined by who you are in relation to your surroundings. I think it's important to become a part of the environment and just go with the flow. You should get rid of any preconceived notions you have and just live in the moment like you've never experienced it before. I think this relates to the idea of spontaneity and how spontaneous images are the best because they are moments in time that were not planned or expected.

These two sections from Gross & Shapiro made me think more about my photography process and how I handle being in situations where I am trying to be a fly on the wall while photographing my subject. It's difficult because I think that I still focus too much on the mechanical part of photography and making sure I'm at the right exposure or focal length. I don't let the environment decide for me what my photograph is going to look like. Although you can sometimes control it, it's a burden to try to change something that will not change for you. 

In Lamott's chapters School Lunches and Polaroids, Lamott makes good points on how to approach first drafts in writing, or in our case, the first interaction and set of photographs from a story. Often there is so much information that we take in and don't always know how to organize it. So, we try to hone in on one thing, which leads us to other interesting perspectives that we would have never found out if we continued to look at it through such a wide lens. Also, I think Lamott makes a good point that we won't always know what the finished product will look like at the beginning. Most of the time. we don't know because it's just difficult to always know exactly what a story -- whether written or photographed -- will turn out looking like. It depends on what kind of information we can obtain throughout the process. But using the metaphor of a polaroid also reminds me of how we try to find these snapshots in life that become integral parts of our stories, even if we don't know it at the beginning.