Monday, March 12, 2012

Costume Characters And Tourists On Sunset Boulevard

Over the weekend, I took a field trip to walk around and observe the costume characters working the streets in front of the Chinese theater in Hollywood.  There are several characters walking around hoping that you will take their photograph for cash and plenty of tourists taking them up on it.  At first, it was exciting to be there since I don't think I've ever toured the area or at least I have no memory of it.  Shortly after arriving, the initial excitement wore off and I started feeling a bit sad for the people in the costumes and the children in the middle of the chaos.

I started snapping away as soon as I arrived and I took a photo of the back of "Darth Vador's" head while he was out of the costume and he immediately walked towards me and confronted me about it.  Being true to his character, he was not the nicest of people and I decided just to walk away and avoid any further contact.  He yelled at me and told me to delete the photo.  It was the back of his head and we are in a public place so I told him I wouldn't delete it and I suppose that wasn't what he wanted to hear.  I did eventually delete it once I uploaded the images. I didn't really have any interest in remembering him anyway.

Most of the other characters were a bit nicer.  I saw a lot of money exchange hands throughout the day and started thinking about what tourists spend their money on.  I'm sure it's fun for people to see the star tiles along the streets and hand prints of famous people in cement but I hope that they are also taking their kids to our National Parks.  Perhaps they are.  I'd like to think that at least.

Here are a few photographs from the couple of hours that I was there.  You be the judge.


P said...

You have captured some great facial expressions in these photos. you can see the bewilderment in the Kids eyes !
Great Blog by the way.

Cary said...

Hi Alison,
I am a hobby photographer and have been reading your blog for some time. I really enjoy your photographs and watching you develop into a seriously rad photographer. What strikes me is your ability to take very candid and real photographs of your subjects. Thank you for that, your pictures are truly inspiring. After reading about your encounter with Darth, I was wondering if you could share with me (us) how you go about taking street photographs of your subjects? Do you just snap away or do you ask for permission to take someone's photograph? You seem so confident (and brave!) but I'm not sure I could do this myself. Thanks in advance for any insight you might offer. I hope you keep blogging, I really enjoy checking in on your work.

Alison said...

Thank you, P!

Cary, sometimes I am brave and other times I fake being brave. If I see someone that I want to take a photo of bad enough, I will push myself to approach them. It's good to remind yourself that the worst that can happen is for them to say no. I would recommend asking permission for a photo. If you are too far to talk, make hand signals and see how they respond.

Thank you for reading! :)

Liverpool Pubs said...

Ye gods, the Chucky cosplayer is very creepy. I admire the little girl (with a Chucky doll in her arms, nonetheless!) for looking so calm. I would have probably just run away screaming if I saw a real life Chucky when I was her age.

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