The People of Charleston

29 11 2012

Those of you who have been playing along for a while will know this is an unusual post for me. In my photos I try to characterize and present something you’ve seen in a way you’ve never looked at it in before. That’s why those of you who know my style and my purpose will be surprised to see a post full of faces.

I was walking throughout the streets taking in everything. The buildings, the colors, the emotions of the city. I could sense the rich culture and beauty of a place who knew it held a special place in history. The entire city radiated purpose and contentment. I realized quickly that this came from more than architecture and craft, this came straight from the people of Charleston, so I began photographing them. 


Have you ever been walking around with your camera only to me by dozens of people asking you to take their picture for no apparent reason? You start out, “I don’t work for the newspaper,” they don’t care. “I’m actually just here on vacation.” They still don’t care. “Listen, I’m just out taking pictures for fun.” “Perfect, this is my best side.” *smiles* There was a point in my career that this seemed an inconvenience. Maybe I was just there to get a shot of the quarterback throwing a long pass. I was just looking for a building with ivy growing up the side. This little human interaction somehow seemed like an inconvenience. Thankfully, I grew past that. There is nothing more rewarding than being appreciated and being valued. When someone asks you to take a picture of them for no apparent reason, it’s because they have placed value on you taking a picture of them. It means something, it’s an opportunity you should never take for granted. These folks were just chilling out, probably on a lunch break. One of them hollered, “Hey, check out this picture right here” then smiled broadly. It’s an off the cuff snap shot that captures a bit of the city, and I loved it.

Sometimes you don’t get asked, you just have to go for it. Most people, especially people who’ve worked hard on something like this car, love having a picture taken of them. Now you’re telling someone else you value them, you value something they’ve created, or who they are. Everyone likes feeling famous now and then.

This shot took all day. I asked every basket weaver I saw if I could take a picture. Most of them seemed to be in witness protection or hiding from the law because they said no. This lady here said sure. I think this shot really captures a bit of who Charleston is. Artisans. Crafts people. Creative folks doing what they know how to do to make a living.

This may be my favorite picture from the set. These guys were just chilling on the dock doing their thing. I asked if I could take a picture and all three of them lit up and enthusiastically said yes. By the time I had the camera up to my eye, they were suppressing grins and playing it cool for all of you fine folks at home.

This shot is just a little reminder that no matter where you go in America, or the world really, you’re gonna get a variety. Everything from hand made clothes to a pair of blue kicks and bright yellow polo shirts. I love this town.

This is the last of the Charleston photos. I’ll be back when I have something new. You guys are wonderful, thanks for coming back and reading me even though I’m scattered. Have a great day, God Bless. -Arley


The Indigenous People of Nascar

23 05 2012

You probably didn’t peg me as a Nascar fan did you? Well, in all honesty, I’m not. That’s why you won’t be seeing any live action racing shots here today but rather the real live fans of the last great redneck frontier. These aren’t the sort of folks I’ve met at art exhibits, pageants, or the local Starbucks. This is a completely different breed from what most of you have ever met.

I feel it prudent to say two very important things. 1: I have utmost respect for the right of freedom of expression. Please do not take anything I say as derogatory towards this subset of southern culture. I assure you all comments are made in good fun, I am after all technically part of this culture myself. 🙂 2: To all my friends across the sea, I promise we aren’t all like this 🙂

If you are regular visitor here on Shootabout, you’ve probably realized this post is going to have a little more fun and a little less art than most of my content. I think it’s important to be careful not to take yourself so seriously that you can’t have a laugh every now and then. You can see the photographer above may have taken this a step or two too far.

More Beer Cans than brain cells

What’s more american than cheap beer cans hanging off of your nipples. There’s really nothing left to say here.



What is your college degree doing for you? Maybe it’s time to transfer to Clemson University? 🙂

Speaking of Clemson, here’s my dad trolling a Clemson fan with his USC hat (USC is Clemson’s arch rival.)

I promise my next post will be inspiring and evocative but every now and then you just have to let loose and have a good laugh. I hope you have enjoyed this break from the usual pace. I always look forward to reading all your comments. Catch me on my social network, Facebook and Twitter links are up there somewhere. Don’t forget to share or reblog if you enjoyed today’s post. I’m getting a bit of traffic from StumbledUpon so if you use it I would love for you to like this page. Have a great day and God Bless you.

Oh yeah, here’s a few for the road.

No way could I have posed a better shot

He’s had a very busy schedule today, time for a nap

If I had a dollar for every shirtless guy drinking a beer I saw, I could retire

Normally I cull the blurry shots but I couldn’t let this one go

Epic sombrero hat

Who wants free sake?


So where do you go from here? Try checking out Annabelle. She’s primarily an artist and her photo post from earlier today was going to be her only photography post ever, I guess I convinced her to give it another shot. Give that new post some love and tell her Arley said hello 🙂