Insider/Outsider Series

Posted on December 26, 2012



Being an “insider” means moving freely in an environment without feeling like a stranger. On the part of the photographer, this means photographing within the moment in the confines of a certain environment wherein he/she feels belongingness. Moments do not have to be captured at a safe, observable distance. The photographer is as much part of the scene as his/her subjects. In my case, I photographed my subjects within a car, a restaurant, and a condominium. In the case of the car, I photographed my subjects as a fellow traveler on the road – I was moving along with my subjects. I showed what it was like as a passenger and as a traveler. For the restaurant, I showed what it was like as a customer in the restaurant. I showed what it was like to observe subjects as someone within the scene, behind the windows of the restaurant. That was also the case with the condominium; I showed what it was like as a resident.  Photographing as an insider can be very limiting, since there is limited room to move around. The windows can be limiting in terms of framing. The good thing about photographing as an insider was the fact that there is a higher chance that strangers cannot know that you are photographing them.  As an outsider, I was constantly conscious of people getting irritated at me for photographing them.

exer2b-picAs an outsider, I felt like a stalker paparazzi. I was trying really hard to photograph people without them knowing it. As a photographer working as an “outsider”, I had to photograph my subjects at a distance. As I have said earlier, I was constantly conscious of people getting irritated at me for taking pictures of them. Thankfully, I haven’t encountered such subjects. Being an outsider means being slightly unwelcome at a certain place. I was not supposed to be part of the scene. I took these pictures in a mall and in a supermarket. It was a bit hard to choose my subjects because, obviously, these are public places with a lot of people. But since there is a lot of room to move around, it was easier for me to look for potentially good photographs. I had a lot of subjects to choose from and I had a lot of freedom as a photographer.