One day I was walking around with my camera, trying to make a good with no luck. I was taking a lot of stupid photographs of obvious subjects, making sure everything was well composed and sharp, not that it made a difference because the subjects that I was photographing were so boring that it puts me to sleep just thinking about it.
Then as I’m walking along I notice something interesting. Three people walking towards me, their shadows look interesting reflected off the pavement. I start to feel as though a photograph might come together so naturally I become very nervous. Should I take the photograph? What if they get mad at me? Is it even worth it? Then I remember some advice I read from the Eric Kim blog, it went something along the lines of “If I’m ever scared of a situation, I MUST take the photograph. Scary situations make good photographs” With this in mind I raise my camera to my face and take a picture of their shadows.
Then one of the people whom I’ve photographed (technically I photographed her legs but minor details aside) comes up to me and said “Did you take my picture?” And I responded “Yes! I thought that the way your shadows came together on the pavement looked really cool so I thought it would make a good picture.” Then I showed them the image on the back of my screen and told them I was going to rotate it in order to make it look like there was three shadow figures walking along the ground. What happened next surprised me, they looked at me, smiled and said “Oh! That’s really cool.” Then I thanked them and we went about our day.
The moral of the story is don’t be afraid to take people's picture. Street photography is a time honored tradition that lots of people get enjoyment from. This may seem odd but in my experience I’ve been thanked more often than chastised for taking someone’s picture.