Jeremiah Rogers

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Photography Failure of the Week: Kid With a Gun

My friend Alex Bain pointed out that it might be fun to discuss photo failures, what I tried, and what didn’t work.

One of the best stories I remember reading about photography was by William Klein. He captured this amazing image of a boy pointing a gun at him.

Although it looks like it, the gun photo isn’t a candid. Klein says:

“…It’s fake violence, a parody. I asked the boy to point the gun at me and then look tough. He did, and then we both laughed. [I see it] as a double self-portrait. I was both the street kid trying to look tough, and the timid good little boy on the right.” (Klein, 2011) from here

Last week for fun I tried the same thing with some boys I found playing with a toy gun in Siem Reap. I said “look at me and try to look as angry as you can.” I smiled, then aped a gun and looked really angry so they would know what I meant. The best I got was this fake laughing/angry face. Not a bad outcome for a country with a language barrier, but nothing great.

My favorite image from the set is the last one. It’s nothing special, but I like the way that the boy is looking at me.