Saturday, May 15, 2010

People Really Do These Things For A Living?!

Today I went to the local library and came across an interesting photography book titled, Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations by Nancy Rica Schiff.

In 65 intimate portraits, photo essayist Nancy Rica Schiff captures the personalities and occupations of these oddball professionals, providing a short profile of each. A 20-year photography veteran, Schiff has spent the better half of that time discovering the behind-the-scenes people who do what others can’t (or won’t) do. No one can say that America isn’t the home of the free, the brave, and the quirky, who will do almost anything to make an honest buck.

A second book followed by, three years after the first volume - Odder Jobs: More Portraits of Unusual Occupations. It came by after the first volume success which became an odd sort of career primer, intriguing guidance counselors and being used in classrooms to stimulate discussions of career choices. Odd Jobs "inspires creativity" and that, alone sent Nancy to crisscross the country again on a second adventure that eventually led her to the second book.

Well, I couldn't find this second volume in the library but I'm certainly want to read it. I really like the environmental portraits Nancy did for these projects, especially in black and white.

Nancy's photography work, not only inspires me, but teaches me to be observant and think creatively by asking myself, "Is this subject potential enough to develop into a photography project?" Through reserach, discoveries and reflections, it stirs up my curiosity for wanting to find out more about my subjects.

On the other hand, Odd Jobs allows readers, whether young or old, to become aware of a vast array of jobs that are inventive and alternative. Fun and fascinating as it seems, both books are done with a sense of humor and eye-opening at the same time.

So give a thought if you think or still find there's nothing to take photographs of in Singapore besides those cliche shots of cityscapes, still life objects in the streets, etc. Slow down your pace and obeserve your surroundings. Who knows? You might discover something interesting to start on a photography project.