“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” Eric Hoffer, philosopher
I don’t know anything about this philosopher but his quote rings true.
It’s actually quite amusing to observe this behaviour as it happens. Watch two people enjoying a conversation and they will naturally mimic each other’s body positions. And it hardly stops there.
Sometimes we chase fashion back into style or use trendy words so often they lose all helpful meaning, all the while defiantly proclaiming our individuality. Of course I doubt it happens to you.
Photography is not immune. My internet travels reveal that I am not using the latest software forcing me to miss out on all the cool effects (thankfully the Urban Dictionary says the word cool never goes out of style). And it’s rare to see a complete set of wedding photos without someone caught jumping in the air. If imitation is flattery, the first person to make that image must be quite full of herself.
Now I wish I could say I was above all this imitation and flattery. Alas …
I was sitting in my truck photographing this gorgeous black bear when another vehicle pulled up behind us. My wife noticed the other photographer initially shot through the windshield (yikes). Later she told me that it didn’t take long to for him to open his window and rest his lens on the side mirror, just like me. I felt like a veteran showing a rookie the way. This flattery thing could be enjoyable.
Of course there was that other time when I was photographing hawks. Those creatures have an interesting way of swivelling their heads quickly then stopping abruptly. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it! Imagine my surprise when I found myself imitating the hawks’ head movement. Thankfully no one was watching that unintentional comedy routine.
Maybe Eric, the philosopher, could have expanded his observations.