I was in Hasenheide park and as I was lying down to read my book I felt the eyes of someone on me, so I turned around to look. There was a man in his early thirties, standing behind the bushes right behind me and he was staring at me, masturbating. I turned around and thought for a millisecond to take a photo of him. That would have been a very great shot.
This had been a horrible experience, and yet I found myself thinking about photography. I guess this is just how I think. I seem to have a tendency to turn everything into a photo.
Honestly, I am a pussy when it comes to photography. I stay in my comfort zone – I do not take photos of dead animals on roads; I do not go to Syria to photograph the civil war; I do not take photos of sad, ugly, disturbing things. I am a sucker for romance, light, beauty, elegance and femininity. Guilty. But this is just how I am. I am not really interested in all that other stuff. Some days I go for walks without a camera or my phone because I want to experience what it is like to just walk and watch the people without worrying or thinking about photographing them. Then I just find myself thinking about new ideas for new photos. I cannot stop. I’m addicted. It has become a part of me.
Imagine having a job that you are doing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That’s how it feels to be a photographer. It’s almost a kind of disorder: searching for the opportunity to take a photograph all the time, always looking, always seeing, always seeking. It is very tiring. I don’t mean to complain – I am so lucky to be doing what I love the most, and people pay me for it! But sometimes I really need a break from it. Obviously closing my eyes helps but I cannot walk around with my eyes closed for days on end. And even when I close my eyes, I see other images, photos that I have not yet taken but would like to take.
I am easily distracted. No friend has ever openly complained about it, but I am afraid this also affects my social life. Taking a photo is always on my mind and sometimes I cannot pay the right attention. No matter how interesting a friend can be, sometimes I catch myself staring at something or someone else other than what I am supposed to be paying attention to. This may confuse and even offend some people, but I cannot help it. I can only hope they find me weirdly interesting because I am acting so strangely. Not so sure if that is the case. I often need to interrupt them if I see them doing something I would like to photograph, then apologise and continue the conversation.
Then there is the problem of staring at people. I just stare. I am usually unaware. I stop when I catch myself but often it is too late and the other person already thinks I am creepy. Maybe it’s a lucky thing that I turned out to be a woman, because I am pretty sure I would not get away with all the staring if I were a man.
All Images by Eylül Aslan