The Street Preacher Engages: Beauty Vs Bias
Can you find beauty in those whom you disagree with? Can you appreciate moments of beauty beyond bias? In the moment I took this shot, I had to.
I have lost how many times I have seen this bullhorn preacher on corners over the years. He will find a spot, set up his bullhorn, his bible, and his tablet and starts shouting. He speaks of a god of love while telling people who smoke, women who he deems to be dressed provocatively, and others that they they will go to hell if they do not repent.
I never take pictures of him because I do not want to encourage his behavior and offer him the attention he seeks. I have a bias. Seeped in that bias is that I used to be an evangelical. Seeped in that bias is my political, social, and (non)religious views. But something beautiful and sublime happened that I couldn’t ignore.
Someone Approached Him
A man approached the bullhorn preacher. He put down his bullhorn and engaged with the man. There is something provocative and powerful to me about their engagement.
The Lesson Learned and The Resistance
Can I find beauty in moments that involve people I disagree with? When shooting an event, street photography, b roll, or a demonstration I likely do this every often. I do not know the private thoughts, actions, and behaviors of people I see beauty in and photograph. I see only a moment in the tapestry of their life. I do not see their political, spiritual and social views. If I could, would I still press the shutter button? Would I still see the beauty?
As far as the resistance, I asked some trusted associates regarding their thoughts of me posting this photo. Some felt it is completely up to me and others made strong cases as to why this would be important to share. Not one of them said, don’t do it!
It is my decision and I decided to share and also speak of why it was hard for me to see beauty in a moment I could not ignore.
Do you find beauty in those you disagree with? Is it black and white, or shades of greyscale?
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