Shooting people

Now I’ve blogged a bit in the past about my love of street photography, but to be honest I would have said it was a passion that started only a few years ago. However, I am sitting here today looking through my images in Bridge and it is plain to see that it began longer ago than I would care to admit. Oh… all right then – it was back in 1980 when I took the decision to buy my very first SLR. I remember a day out in Cambridge with a couple of rolls of black and white film and I was probably pretending to be a younger female version of David Bailey. I mingled with the crowds, trying not to be noticed, while looking out for “interesting people”. The truth is that all people are interesting and watching them go about their daily lives has fascinated me for as long as I can recall.

The featured image here was taken at one of the heavy horse shows at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. We were actually there with our ferrets doing some public relations work, but I managed to sneak away for a bit while my husband kept an eye on things. I had already noticed this gentleman and his lovely Shires, but I had to wait for the crowd of children around them to disperse.

The image below was taken at the Make Poverty History demonstration in Edinburgh. I had flown up for the march and took my beloved OM2n along for the ride. While waiting for everything to begin, I noticed this little girl with her father in the crowd. I was close to them with a short zoom and he was aware that I took a few photographs. Maybe it was because I was part of the demonstration, or maybe he was just proud to show her off. No words were exchanged, but I smiled at them before moving away and leaving them with their privacy. To this day it remains one of my own personal favourites.

Father and Daughter

The last one was taken in Camden Town on a bitterly cold day in the middle of winter. We had just decided to find a cafe where we could sit down and warm up with a mug of hot chocolate, when I spotted these two girls on a nearby stall. One was clearly distressed and her friend was trying to comfort her with a hug. I didn’t have time to think and I must have grabbed the shot and moved on in less than two seconds. Was it an invasion of privacy? Maybe. And yet they weren’t on private property and I was quite within my rights. I would have been mortified if I had been spotted or upset them in any way. In an instant, I had taken the decision to record something that moved me deeply. Even looking at the photograph years later, it still has the same effect. To quote one of my favourite photographers Sebastiao Salgado “If you take a picture of a human that does not make him noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things”. It is something I try not to forget when I am out and about with my camera.

Hug

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