rejection therapy day 12 -december 10th
Today, I am pretty pleased to say, was another cracker of a day…so unfortunately you have a long post on your hands.
First off, I am finding that the Street Portrait Project is yielding very few rejections (by that, I mean none). Everyone is far too nice and welcoming, willing to take a couple of minutes out of their lives to chat and have their photos taken. I have also started to give out little notes to the kind people who have allowed me to take their portraits, giving the address for this blog and my Flickr.
Since I am only posting a single photo a day that obviously means not everyone’s portrait I have taken will get posted, so I will name check each of them and let them rest easy knowing their picture will be posted up one day and they are welcome to request any photos I have taken on them.
Here are today’s friendly victims:
For more information about today’s Street Portrait, please read the blurb about Brendan just above his photo below.
After successfully taking some photos of strangers I sauntered over to the place to get the best coffee in Birmingham, The Urban Coffee Company. While chatting with one of the friendly and skilled Urbanistas (UCC name for a Barista) who knew I had a trial shift on Monday, I asked whether he could talk me through making a latte and give me some tips, which he did! Failed Rejection Check out this Urbanista’s latte art.
I then went to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training session, but I was a little agitated that it was coming to late evening and I had not yet got a rejection. I thought I would push the boat out and be a little mischievous and ask one of the instructor/managers of the gym called Norbi, who is a good friend but renowned for being strict to everyone about everything, if I could have a bottle of water for free. He rolled his eyes and I took that as a rejection… this story continues and gets a lot more interesting, so just bare with it.
After I had finished training with a different instructor to the aforementioned stricter Norbi, I offered my two training partners a lift home, even though they both live in completely opposite directions to where I was heading and I had never done so before. The thing I found odd about this is that I did not have rejection therapy on my mind when I asked this. I was just being more forward and open than I have been previously. It was only until I was driving home that I realised I had got my rejection. Rejected
Now the bottle of water story continues, hope you’re still paying attention. While walking back to my car I realised I was a bit dehydrated, so I went back into the gym and asked Dave, one of the guys who works behind the desk, how much bottle of waters were. He didn’t know so he called out to Norbi. A “£1” shouted back in return without Norbi looking up. Just as I was handing over the pound there was a further shout, “Don’t worry about it.” We both looked over to Norbi and he carried on “Don’t worry about it, this ones on me.” Myself and Dave stood there confused and I slowly put the bottle into my bag. Failed Rejection
What I take from today is the importance of kindness. There is just nothing quite like it. Whether it is Norbi giving me the water bottle or the thanks I got for simply offering a lift home to my training friends, kindness just feels good whether you are giving or receiving. Rejection Therapy can seem quite selfish, asking for things you want and depending on other people’s kindness, but I have found that the more I have asked for from people the more I have felt good in giving back.
These thoughts are definitely connected to my reading of magician and illusionist Derren Brown’s latest book, ‘Confessions of a Conjurer ” where he spends pretty much a whole chapter on the importance of kindness. It really cannot be understated and it is infectious. By pure coincidence, after the training session today a few of us sat round and chatted about road rage, but we all shared the idea that when someone is kind to you on the road you are more helpful to others; letting people in at junctions etc. I think if you have this in your mind in Rejection Therapy, rather than seeing it in a businesslike/sales manner of simply personal gain, it can set you on a path to feeling happy, and you can’t say better than that.
Slight addition, I have also started offering my portrait photos to everyone who allows me to take their photo. On the slip I give them it has my email address and hopefully they can get some pleasure out my photography too.
Street Portrait Project #3
Brendan was walking along with a young lady, Katie his daughter, and when I stopped them they both seemed highly amused at the thought of someone taking their photo. It turns out Brendan is a photographer and Katie had studied photography…rather intimidating since I am a self taught amateur. Still, after some gentle jibbing at the kit I used and joking about my knowledge, they could not have been more friendly and spent a minutes discussing this practice and the importance of meeting people.
Thanks again Brendan and hope your critical eye isn’t too harsh on this photo, I’m doing this all to learn!
For an explanation of Rejection Therapy see this post
For an explanation of Street Portrait Project see this post
rejection therapy day 10 -december 8th
No rejection today, but I feel the best since I have started the therapy. Allow me to rant…
I wanted to make up for yesterdays chickening out of yesterday’s street photography and not taking some street portraits, I thought I would try again today. Once again, I froze. I kept seeing people and thinking “they would be perfect” and then do nothing as they past. I walked up and down the main streets of Birmingham simply letting people pass and letting my hesitation get the better of me, but I ran into a friend that changed things.
A guy who I used to go to school with and saw sparingly around some of the areas I do freelance work spotted me and we chatted. He was curious as to what I was doing, at which point I informed him. This simple act of telling him gave me the incentive to push forward, as someone else knew and may ask in future meetings about how my street portraits were doing. At this point a switch flicked in my head, I asked to take his portrait, which he allowed Failed Rejection After which I asked what he gets up to these days and told me he was going to a gig on Friday, I asked if I could tag along, again he said yes! Yet Another Failed Rejection
After my friend left I felt the need to go up to someone and finally take that photo. I found a victim, an unsuspecting girl smoking a cigarette and most likely waiting for a friend. I walked up to her, she stared blankly at me and I realised I had to talk very quickly.
“Can I take your portrait?”
“I am photographing a few people around”
“Right, let me hide my cigarette”
She palmed the smoking ciggerette and smiled. I took a few shots and, not wanting to make the awkward moment last any longer, gave a quick goodbye and quick stepped off. It was Failed Rejection but I got my photo and I knew tomorrow I had to go back for more.
One again I went to the cafe, sat in the same spot with my latte in front of me, but today I felt good. Minor as that achievement was, I was proud that I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I am not back to where I used to be in terms of confidence, but this has certainly helped me on my way.
I sat on the bus with a smile on my face and as I got out at my stop I passed a Starbucks that was locking up. I caught eye contact with the girl who was bolting up the glass door from the inside. I still had my big smile slapped across my face, so looking at her like an idiot, I added slight a wave in the mix. She seemed to chuckle slightly and give a light wave back, although her smile was clearly as much out of confusion than genuine happiness; but she smiled and that may have given her a nice end to a working day. After I waved I carried on and didn’t look back. I’ll let that moment stay there Failed Rejection
I didn’t get my rejection, but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and felt a lot better than I have in a long time. So I had fun just playing the game which I think is more important than scoring points. Today is the first time I truly felt I was playing purely for fun.
…although I will admit I did want to score that goal and get the rejection; so my aim tomorrow is TWO REJECTIONS. Time to set targets and have some fun.
Below is the street portrait I took of the aforementioned young lady. The photo came out terribly I know, but I wanted to post it here as an incentive to myself to document these things. Reject on.
For an explanation of Rejection Therapy see this post
For an explanation for Street Portrait Project see this post