People Watching #7

Have you done any people watching lately? The first time we looked at Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Then we examined a 1930s Charles Walton photograph. After that, we speculated about the dynamics of two girls and a guy at the dinner table. Then we viewed the bicyclist in a race and people traipsing through a winter snow. Last time we soared with a young man flying a plane.

As usual, I loved reading your comments—the ideas evoked by those pictures. The backgrounds, personalities, and situations of each person.

Aside from knowing that a picture is worth 1000 words, a picture evokes 1000 stories.

If I showed a picture to a dozen students and told them to write a story based on it, I got a dozen unique and varied responses.

If I did this with 1000 students, guaranteed, they’d each have a different combination of character interactions, dialogs, motives, and plots.

As I’ve said before, I revel in this creative diversity. We each inherently have this innovative ability because we’re made in God’s image. See “Chickens at the State Fair.” Whether you’re a story writer or not, your own creativity can shine with a little people watching.

Courtesy Elmer Sparks Photography.

What story is being suggested?

Take a few minutes to immerse yourself in this picture. Then think about these questions. There are no right or wrong answers! You’re calling the shots.

You can choose to answer the questions in regard to both women or just one.

(If you happen to know who these ladies are, pretend you don’t!)

  • Who are these two women? What are their names?
  • Where are they?
  • How well do they know each other?
  • What are they talking about?
  • What is the one lady saying?
  • What is the other lady thinking?
  • What are their moods?
  • What is the setting (approximate time, date, and place)?
  • What is the tone/mood/atmosphere of this particular day?
  • What has led up to this day?
  • What are their personalities?
  • What are their key character traits?
  • How long will they be sitting here?
  • What are their relationship dynamics?
  • What is a typical day like for them?
  • What do they aspire to?
  • Where do they wish they were instead? Or are they happy to be here?
  • What is the title of his story?

So many story possibilities! All in one picture.

So . . . how would YOU answer some of the questions above about this picture?
What story do you see unfolding?

I welcome your comments below!

Ever musing,


8 thoughts on “People Watching #7

  1. Laura, that’s you and me in 30 years, and I’m saying to you, “Remember when you used to write that blog?” 🙂

  2. The more I see of Elmer Sparks photography, the more I like it!
    I love the camaraderie between these two women.
    Not sure I will rest till I figure out what Lady #2 is showing her friend with the flashy animal print jacket.
    Crocheting a border on a tea towel?
    I solemnly swear, though, that they look like they are up to no good.
    The kind of lady I aspire to be 🙂

    1. They definitely could be conniving!

      I love Elmer’s photography, too. I don’t know how he captures people at just the right moments.

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