May 6, 2010

  • Street Photography in Seattle, WA

    A Bit Of A Flashback…

    Quite a flashback, actually… If you’ve been keeping up with me for a while, you
    probably remember the “Epic Surf Trip” I took in my 1970 Volkswagen which began
    in November 2008.

    I left from Orange County, CA and drove all the way up the Coast to Seattle, encountering
    all sorts of fun adventures along the way (including sinking my car in the Pacific Ocean).

    After arriving in Seattle, I got my first ever chance to explore the city… And of course,
    I started things off down at the Pike Place Market. As I strolled down the brick streets
    something out of place hit my ears… Was that a PIANO I heard?

    Sure enough, there it was… I could barely believe my eyes. A man with long, gray hair
    sitting at a piano, right there on the street corner. He moved with effortless grace, swaying
    with the music like an aging metronome… Comfortable, fulfilled, and certainly moving to
    the his own beat…

    As I stood there watching him play, I suddenly found my eyes closing; hearing the
    passion in his music, the grace in the sound. This man was no normal street performer.
    Sure, he was a bit disheveled but there was something MORE to him.

    As I collected myself, I lifted my camera to my eye and captured these photos:

    (My First View)

    And then more:

    It was frigidly cold that day. Yet here was this man playing his piano,
    gloves on his hands, jacket on top of jacket, and eyes closed blissfully.

    I wandered around him for several minutes before he even knew I was
    there… Finally opening his eyes at the end of the song, he smiled and said hello.

    I thanked him for the music, and wandered away.

    Flash Forward….

    Thirteen months later, my wife and I made our way back to Seattle…
    Once again in a Volkswagen, though this time with decidedly less dunks
    in the Pacific.

    As we made our way up to the market, I smiled as I heard the music in
    the distance I was so excited to share this beautiful man with my bride!

    Just as we arrived by his side, he finished his song and took a moment
    to talk to us. I told him that I’d taken his picture the previous year and had
    it hanging in my home (that first photo looks AMAZING on canvas :)

    He asked me for a copy, and shared that he truly wasn’t your average street
    performer, barely getting by. His name was Jonny Hahn and he’d been performing
    at that same location for nearly as long as I’ve been alive. He lived just down the
    street and LIVED to make the music he shared.

    It was truly inspiring to talk to this gentle, passionate soul… A man commonly
    overlooked, but filled with a humble joy.

    Here’s a video I found of him playing on YouTube:
    (I’ll try to get a better one next time!)

    I’ll be back in Seattle in Late June for a beautiful wedding… And I can assure
    you that Lord willing, I’ll be stopping by to see Jonny and thank him for his
    constant inspiration.

    How are YOU inspiring people?
    Who’s inspiring YOU in unexpected ways?

    Thanks For Reading,

    Eric White Sig

Comments (9)

  • nice i gotta love ny for the random music players on the street and subway

  • I want some! What a  great experience he’s provinding to people.

    I DO rememeber your bug trip… I can’t believe it’s been so long ago though! Wow…

  • People who define their own quality of life and continue enjoying it no matter the circumstances inspire me. 

  • I remember that trip! LOVED the photos from it!

    So, I have a really random question. My boyfriend and I have been talking about getting engaged. Well, actually WHEN to get engaged, married, etc because of college and wanting to finish that first. But whenever we do, would you be our wedding photographer? I have loved your photos more than any others I have seen in all my years of photography and my boyfriend does as well. And since we both enjoy photography so much, we want to be sure that the photographer knows how to capture that joy and energy that photos can express.
    I think the wedding will probably be sometime early summer of 2011. (Though I’d prefer a winter wedding, not really willing to wait another 7 months just for the seasons to change.)  The only reason we aren’t engaged now is because he can’t afford a ring right now and doesn’t want to get engaged without it. (That is something I’ve been puzzled about actually… can I say that it’s ok, I don’t need a diamond ring, a sterling silver band works fine for me…. ? or is it more about him proving himself, showing commitment and dedication and making him work for something he desires…? I don’t know. ) But that’s another topic entirely.

    My e-mail address is, if you’d like to let me know what you think about this being a possibility. Obviously it’s pretty far away, but I just wanted to give you heads up if it was something you’d consider.



  • usually the inspired also inspire :) thanks for sharing this, really. 

  • @the_color_nine - Just spotted your comment again… did you get my emails? :)

  • @Yohannis - You’re the man, brother… Thanks for the kind words!

  • No, I didn’t get them! I don’t think… what e-mail address did they come from? 

  • @the_color_nine - should be from my address… I’ll send another! :D

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