Ribfest Chicago ribs eating contest.
Photography has always been my crutch. In high school I learned that if I picked up a camera I could participate in anything without really having to participate: a way to be social without having to be social. I could document parties without having to interact. I could watch concerts even if I didn’t understand the music. I could sit comfortably on the outside looking in.
Photography is still my way to participate without participating. Though, it’s no longer always a combatant to social anxiety. As I recently said: I make a better competitive eating photographer than I do a competitive eater.
And so I had no qualms watching Ribmania — the annual ribs eating contest at Ribfest Chicago — from the crowd. I had no problem watching Miki Sudo tear into 4.8 pounds of ribs in 8 minutes while I noshed on a three-rib sampler at a leisurely pace.