THE UNDERDOG CAFE

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The Underdog Cafe is a little Wine Emporium/ Coffee Shop in the little town of Yellow Springs. The perfect destination for a practice photojournalism trip. I wanted to practice capturing the atmosphere and feel of a certain environment as well as documenting the random strangers that work and hang out there.  Photographing strangers is definitely a tough practice for me, especially when they are not paying me to do so. Photographing the environment is much more appealing to me. First, you have much more time to find the angle and composition and adjust exposure for objects aren’t moving and second, you don’t have to worry about an objects response to you taking its photo, whereas people may not be so friendly when you take their photo unasked. When I first walked into the store I found the manager to ask his permission to take photos in his shop. He was totally fine with it and he even told me about his brother who is a professional photojournalist for the New York Times. So I began shooting some of his products. I then began to follow him around as he unloaded and shelved some of the new wine and I found it very comfortable as we held a conversation about his shop as I was photographing him at work.  Then I went to capture the coffee shop side of the shop. As I tried to capture some of the patrons, I didn’t know whether I should awkwardly ask for permission to photograph them or awkward sneak pictures of them. Either way it was going to push me out of my comfort zone.  So I did a little bit of both. For close up shots of individuals, I would ask them specifically if I could take there picture, and I would get unsure responses as they didn’t seem quite comfortable with it, but didn’t want to say no either. For wider shots, I would just go ahead and take the shot without any formal permission. As I continue pushing myself as a photojournalist, hopefully I will become more and more comfortable with capturing strangers in their environment.Image
These were shot with my Nikon D3100.

-ZAM

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