Eric and I met at lunchtime today on Main Street in Huntington Beach. We figured that with the sun out, there should be lots of people out and about with plenty of options to shoot whatever our inspiration word might be for the day. Eric showed up a couple minutes before me and as soon as I arrived, we didn’t even grab a drink or bite to eat. We hit the newspaper stand and got our word.
Buttoned-down. That’s it. It seemed pretty straight-forward. It’s a term we have heard countless times, but we still had to look it up to make sure we were thinking along the correct lines. The ends of a garment fastened down with buttons. Conservative. Conventional. Unimaginative.
Great. Now that we sit and think about this one, we are totally in the wrong place. The amount of people barely dressed and looking to express themselves at any chance far outweighs the conservative type. So we took off down the street in search of something that might catch our eye.
As we walked toward the beach, we thought of any way we could twist this so that we could make it work. One idea was to take a photo of someone from the butt on down. But the word was buttoned-down, not button down. Oh well, it was an idea and it could have worked really well with all of the colorful people surrounding us.
We took plenty of interesting shots, but none really said buttoned-down to us. As we walked back up the street, we got pretty worried that we might not be successful today. So we sat down on a planter box in some shade and just hoped that someone who looked buttoned-down would pass. Not very interesting, but we also realized that we couldn’t have a winner every time. That was the idea – we had to put our work out there win or lose.
Just then, 3 bikers who looked the opposite of buttoned-down stopped and started talking right next to us. We observed them in their reflection across the sidewalk from us and realized that it would be the perfect juxtaposition for someone who was conservative to be set against. We could then only hope that they stay there long enough for whoever that person was to pass. It was our final chance, for we only had about 15 minutes remaining.
We sat there for almost 10 minutes. The 3 bikers talking all the time. And just long enough for that one very conservative-looking, buttoned-down old-timer to pass and even stare us down as we snapped his photo. The contrast between him and the bikers in the window’s reflection emphasized his disapproving conservative attitude all that much more.