A few minutes after I took this photograph, this hoary old gent came charging up the steps, to whack me with a stick.
The cops advised me to make a hoof for it, and I did.
The question that you may ask is, why did he come after me with a stick?
The reason is, that I intruded upon his private space.
Over the years, I have changed my approach to street photography has changed. From standing behind poles with a long telephoto lens and carrying many lenses to announce “Photographer”!, I now move with essentially one lens.
While I the ‘behind the pole’ stunt a fair amount, more often than not, I make eye contact, smile and then shoot. The person I shoot often gives his/her tacit permission for me to shoot.I don’t always shoot women, because this can get tricky,and I am more sensitive to their personal space.
On this occasion, I forgot – perhaps flouted – the rule of respecting the personal space of the person I am photographing. I behaved like a boor.
Yeah, that is is – I behaved like a boor.
First, I sat in front of him and shot him, despite his discomfort. Then, I stood at the top of the stairs and shot him again.
He knew it, and I knew he did not like it.
At the end, he chased me off.
So, when shooting someone – especially on the street – we must remember to respect their private spaces.
Make eye contact. Smile. They will appreciate the acknowledgement.
Who knows? You may even make a friend!