Highland Park Streets, Gems of Los Angeles

I told ya’ll last time about how I was going to start an art class at Art Center at Night. So I started a couple weeks ago (it’s going great!) and since I live pretty far from the school, I decided to go out to the area a bit earlier in the day and get some street photography in. I keep hearing about how Highland Park is experiencing a lot of growth and developing into a popular place to be (or maybe gentrification is the better term…). I wanted to check it out as I’d only been there a couple times before. I found a cute coffee shop called Kindness & Mischief which is across the street from the Highland Theatre and a bunch of other old rustic and art deco buildings. The neighborhoods in the surrounding area are full of bungalow, victorian and craftsman style houses. It’s AWESOME. No wonder so many hipsters want to move out there. Also, for now, it’s much cheaper than living in more central and west LA locations. So I don’t blame them. Rent is absolutely insane in this part of the world…But I suppose that’s really just another first world problem? 

Anyway, I didn’t take any pictures of people while I was out there. It’s on my “get better at this” list of things to do in street photography. I find it incredibly difficult to take pictures of strangers (even though I’m technically allowed to take pics of anyone who is in a public space). But there are also people I would’ve like to ask if I can take their portrait. Or if they don’t mind if I take some pictures of them as they work/sit/write…whatever it is they’re doing. The worst that happens is they say no, and I walk away. But it’s SO hard to approach people despite the fact that I know most people don’t mind. In our selfie-tech-filled world most people like the idea of a photographer taking interest in them and wanting to capture them. I am not an especially intimidating person, so I can’t imagine they would be suspicious of my intentions…But in any case, I didn’t spend very long out on the streets of Highland Park. And if I’m being completely honest, it also had to do with a slight uneasiness I feel in many parts of LA. Walking around with an expensive camera by myself…I don’t truly believe any harm will come to me, but I was raised in comfortable suburbian bubbles and cities just tend to be a bit sketchier to me. I’m aware that I can have a bad encounter anywhere in the world, but statistically it just comes with the territory of the city. So this is on my list of things to get better at too. Or maybe it’s just on my list of things to accept about my emotions and opinions. If it doesn’t stop me from going out and shooting altogether, everything else is just a part of the journey. 

Shani Leead1 Comment