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30 minutes in november {madison avenue}

Nov 24, 2014

I’m *so* not a shoe person.  Hats, scarves, purses — yes, please!  But shoes?  I am almost embarrassed to admit that I loathe going shoe shopping, and nine times out of ten, buy for comfort rather than style 😉  I left crisp autumn weather in NYC (my favorite!) a few weeks ago to fly down to FL for work.  Last night, I arrived off the plane in flip flops and froze my butt off waiting in the taxi line, wondering how winter arrived so quickly while I was away.  So this morning, I decided to dig out my winter shoe collection to brave the frigid streets when I realized I brought most of them to Goodwill last spring, vowing to buy stylish new shoes when winter came around again.  Ugh.  So I pulled on the one pair of black boots I had kept and ran out the door for a dentist appointment about a half hour walk away.

Have you ever noticed when you are fixated on something, it’s all you can see?!  Pretty quickly into my walk, all I was paying attention to were people’s shoes!  I remembered my 30 minutes project was due tomorrow, so I used my iPhone to “shoot from the hip” and document New Yorkers’ shoes, walking down Madison Avenue.  (Hey, the best camera is the one you have with you, right?)

I was pleased to note that most of the shoes walking by were not, in fact, super stylish, but rather looked warm and comfortable.  There were several fashionistas walking in stiletto boots, some brave soles walking in ballet flats (with no tights in 30 degree weather!), many, many pairs of Uggs (are these still cool?), workout shoes, uber-cool European tourists wearing their uber-cool European sneakers, snake-skin boots, MaryJane orthopedics, workman’s boots, and even a dog wearing booties!  Is it surprising that most of the men had near-identical brown loafers on?  They have it so easy… Anyway, it was a fun little walk and I’m feeling a little more inspired to do some shoe shopping tomorrow 😉  Wish me luck!

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Psst!  Now that you’ve joined me for a little walk down Madison Avenue, go check out the next photographer in our group’s take on the “30 minutes” project! It’s once again, Summer K, the very best wedding and family photographer in all of Ohio!  She is so sweet and her beautiful photos from the countryside in Ohio always make me smile!:)

comments +

  1. Summer

    November 24th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    OH. MY. GOSH.

    Colleen! I LOVE this post. (I know this doesn’t shock you.)

    What a great idea for your 30 Minutes!!

    It’s funny, while we were there I was noticing peoples shoes, as well. (I, too, am not a shoe girl.) After walking miles, and miles, I realized that New Yorkers have to be smart about their selections. And I found myself wondering how far those who are wearing heels and the most uncomfortable goes survive very long.)

    I seriously love all the perspectives you captured and the vast variety.

    You are incredible my creative friend.

  2. Colleen Putman

    November 30th, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    oh summer you’re so sweet! thank you so much! i always wonder how women can walk so far in such high heels as well!! it was a fun little project to document for sure 🙂

  3. mary

    November 24th, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I KNEW IT! I knew this would be another great 30 minutes from you! I just LOVE how you focused on only one item – shoes – but managed to show so much. Absolutely awesome. You REALLY make me want to come back to NYC!!

  4. Colleen Putman

    November 30th, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    mary!! you’re so funny and kind 🙂 i think all of you ladies have more faith in my photos than i do, haha! please come to nyc!!! we’d have so much fun!

  5. Sophie James

    November 24th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Yep I knew you’d do something brilliant with your phone and I was not disappointed! Such a clever idea and so beautifully shot! Love, love, love!!! Xxx

  6. Stacey Weller Markel

    November 25th, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Very cool Colleen!! Love that you captured the everyday. And you are not alone in the “loathe going shoe shopping”. I completely dislike shoe shopping! I thought I was the only woman who felt that way 🙂

  7. Karen Cornwell Hunt

    November 25th, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Colleen! What an awesome idea, and seriously all shot with your iphone. just great. I love all the shadows and frankly just seeing all the different styles of shoes. Your posts are always amazing!

  8. Sharleen Hudson Stuart

    November 25th, 2014 at 2:33 am

    What a fun shoot Colleen. I can just see you with you camera on your hip trying to look inconspicuous. I would keep missing the the camera button if I had to do that. 🙂 I am so taken with the photo in the 11th row the black and white. It is such a cute pic, kind of flirty look about it. And the woman with the huge stride and high heeled shoes. Not sure how she does that. Great month – thanks for sharing

  9. Charlotte Kitchenside

    November 25th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    All on your iPhone?! I’m actually green with envy of anyone who can shoot like this with their phone – such a clever use of shadow and texture, all captured beautifully (and without lugging your big girl camera around!!). Genius!

  10. Julia Cooke

    November 26th, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Seeing only the feet of your subjects really made me think about the story of each subject, and what we can tell from someone’s shoes. You shot such a range of characters. Focusing on this one thing really brings out the glorious variations in texture, light and shadow. This is a fun, witty and beautiful documentary. Love!

  11. Sara Kelly

    December 5th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    What an AWESOME 30 minutes! I LOVE the street shot with all the flare. I love how you managed to make shoes so happy and say so much. Beautiful, Colleen!

  12. Colleen Putman

    December 5th, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    thank you so much sara!! you’re so sweet 🙂

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