By Hayden Gilbert

clip_image002You’re walking down the street. You see someone in front of you. Walking. Running. Mosey-ing. Maybe he has weird shorts on. Maybe she has weird hair. Or maybe they’re walking lockstep while sporting identical business attire. From your point of view, which is directly behind their point of view, things are different. You see what they can’t. Some call it “social stalking.” Others call it “observational humor.”

I call it #rearpov.clip_image004When I was little, I used to “people watch” at the airport (still do.) My parents were divorced and lived in different cities, which made me a frequent flyer at a very young age. So my mom would take me to the airport a few hours early and we’d just sit there and watch all the people going who knows where. I didn’t much like the flying part, or those little plastic wings they gave you, but I did like the people watching while I waited for the plane. Sometimes we’d come up with a name and/or a quick story about that person. Did we have too much time on our hands? Yes. Were we being judgmental? Probably. But I think that’s where this whole #rearpov idea started—somewhere in the terminals of Love Field. Maybe.clip_image006People are more interesting when they don’t know they’re being photographed. They act normal, relaxed. They buy the beer they the like. More importantly, they don’t pose or have any pretense about them. Sometimes I just take pics of people from #rearpov because something makes me laugh. Okay, that’s really the only reason.

clip_image008The people I see from #rearpov have stories. Funny stories. Sad stories. Complicated stories. Unfortunately, I don’t know their stories. But I like to imagine what their stories might be. Where are they from? Is she famous? Why does he walk with a limp? And are those really embroidered crabs on his shorts?!? These are the things I think about when I’m not at a computer.clip_image010It’s all fodder for writing. More often than not, these little #rearpov photos lead me to think about character development, and character development can lead to stories, and stories are what people care about. Stories and live music.clip_image012Some of the best #rearpov pics are the ones I’ve received from friends. Like @jaytaco. And @brewerscott. And @arthurstewartjr. That’s the great thing about #rearpov. Anyone can do it. In fact, I think you should. All of you. But watch your back. @chaydeng just might #rearpov you.

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