Friday, October 16, 2009

Free hugs!

Hugs are underrated.
Go to middle schools and all you can see through the drama and teenage-angst is hugging. It gets to the point where middle school officials try to BAN hugging (actually, the Connecticut school banned all physical contact including high-fives)... but what good could possibly come of that? During middle school, I was a prolific hugger myself and I know a hug is a fantastic way to brighten your day. It will also brighten the day of the other people you hug. Heck, for all I know hugging is the only way kids get through middle school with its internal conflicts, physical changes, not to mention the external conflicts (you've seen Mean Girls, right?).
It seems to me that after middle school and maybe the first year of highschool, hugging becomes less common. Upon arriving in college (and the real world) people greet with firm handshakes (don't forget to look into his eyes!) and handshakes only. This world needs more hugs, at least, that's what Christie Faldwin told me.

I photographed a profile a while back on Christie Faldwin, AKA. NAU's Free Hugs guy.
He stands outside the Student Union every tuesday/thursday from noon to 4 holding his sign and giving hugs to all who ask.

He said he doesn't count the number of people who actually hug him, but in the 35 minutes I was there, I think he got something like 15 hugs.

The photo that I like the most didn't run, mainly because it isn't as sharp as my editor likes my stuff. Luckily for me, I have this blog and can publish stuff on my own! This image also conveys a totally different feeling than the one above. Here, it looks like nobody is hugging him, wheras above you get to see his hugs in action.

To get this last image I was at ISO 100 (as low as my camera goes), F22 (as high as my lens goes) and 1/6 sec. I added a polarizer to darken things a little more and to pop the sky (since I knew my goal was A&E dominant in The Lumberjack).