A random, impulsive view of Seattle

May 17, 2010, 2:50 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

One year ago, James Lalonde snapped a picture of an empty retail space along the Seattle waterfront. He posted it on his Facebook page with a caption “Signs of the times. Waterfront.” That’s pretty common; most of us have taken and posted random photos.

Lalonde didn’t stop with one photo, or a dozen, or even 100.

“Since then I have posted just over 300 snaps. I am now a snapshot junkie, another dime a billion FB addict, a cell phone graffiti artist,” says Lalonde.

Lalonde calls his collection of photographs “Seattle One Snapshot a Day at a Time.” His pictures aren’t the kind of shots tourists take of Seattle landmarks and natural beauty. He has a different view of our city.

“I am trying to capture the weird stuff that nobody looks at twice,” he says. “Moments that capture me.”

The moments that fascinate him are as random as the subjects of his cell phone shots.

“I find myself stopping the car and jumping out to take a picture of a woman’s high heel in a tree. Laying in mud before amused joggers along Green Lake to get a shot of the iridescent neck of a passing Mallard or a lost ‘dog ball’ floating in the slime,” he says.


James Lalonde’s “shoe tree”

Lalonde is a writer by trade. Which, he jokes, means he’s “one of the legions of professionally unemployable unemployed.” He’s been on the staff of the Weekly, KING 5 News and The Seattle Times. He’s just finished his third novel – an urban fantasy about a homeless schizophrenic kid coming of age, which required first-person research.

“I took a job working in a shelter for the mentally disadvantaged homeless,” he says. “On the streets, I saw a city that was changing all around me and full of haves and have nots. Extremes. Lovely and harsh. The snap shots became a way of telling that story.”

He doesn’t plan on turning the 300+ snapshots into a book project or something more. “They are already doing what they do,” he says.

His pictures remind me to notice more of my surroundings – not just the obvious things.

“We are so busy, we miss most of what is going on around us,” says Lalonde.


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A random, impulsive view of Seattle