Living Vicariously As A Peripatetic Shutterbug

{ More musings from the Cantankerous Old Mule }

Finding life in street photography

I discovered something very interesting this week: that not all people-photos work. Well, that seems obvious, but what do I mean? When shooting on the streets there are two types of photos that do seem to work: the ones where the subject doesn’t know one is shooting them, and the ones where one can interact with them first.

In this second type, the relationship is key, and can be seen in the photos themselves. A bit of banter, a few laughs, finding out a bit about them, talking about sport and what we have in common breaks the ice and seems to give the shot more value.

Earlier this week I was walking in town, on my way somewhere and not specifically to shoot (but of course I did shoot a few photos with my 50mm). I took some candid portraits and then saw an elderly woman with the most expressive of faces sitting on a bench with some younger women. I asked if I could photograph her. She agreed, but only if I paid her, which I did. (I don’t, as a rule like paying people for their photos. There are plenty who love to be photographed…) I took one photo but when I got home and looked at it there was no life to it. It was flat; insipid.

The rest I loved. The little girl on the stool’s father came around to the office the next day to book a flight and I was able to give him copies of all the pics I shot of his kids. Now that really warmed my heart – to see his surprise and joy …

Which is my favourite, as a look through this small batch? Probably the one of the roasted-nuts seller. She was so embarrassed and sheepish and yet truly pleased to have had her photo taken …

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5 comments on “Finding life in street photography

  1. madasue
    August 6, 2015

    I love “Friends” and the “Old Man…” Oh, and the tigers on your instagram..haha, looks like something my boys would do!
    Is the guy in Colourful working with beads?? What is he using to make those things?

    • Robin
      August 6, 2015

      Yes, glass beads, as far as I know. They use those for weddings. It was amazing to see – a whole alleyway of vendors selling the same stuff.

  2. Elaine
    August 6, 2015

    As always, your portrait shots are so good that it is almost impossible to choose, but I think, if pressed, the old man, the little girl grinning and the nut-seller would probably win by a hair’s breadth. I, too, love the tiger-dog. I hope the paint wasn’t toxic.

    • Robin
      August 6, 2015

      Thanks, ma. I’m going to do a whole post on the tiger dog on Sunday. Hoping I can get more photos before then!

  3. There_Lot
    August 20, 2015

    Easy…love them all.

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This entry was posted on August 6, 2015 by in Nepal, People, Real Life and tagged , , , , .
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