Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Don't shoot the funny lady
The serious business of survival
Shanghai, China, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]
She clearly does not want her picture taken. As I approach her on the crowded sidewalk, she removes the plastic nose/moustache contraption from her face. She's one of countless street merchants selling cheap tchatchkes to whoever has the patience to negotiate for them. Despite the funny toys she's selling, her demeanor is anything but happy.
I back away and melt back into the crowd. She goes back to wearing the funny face, but she does not smile beneath it. Ever.
She's got a sharp eye. Every time I raise my camera to shoot her, she quickly pulls it off and ducks behind a post. I'm upsetting her, so I keep walking. After I count off a set number of paces, I preset the camera - focus, exposure, focal length - and turn around and capture this image before she realizes I'm still there.
I feel guilty for playing this photographic cat-and-mouse game with her. But at the same time, I wanted some way to illustrate the sadness of these people's lives. As soon as I saw her, I knew she was the one.
Your turn: Are some photos worth a little more tenacity? How so?
One more thing: She's not the only one who doesn't want her picture taken. Click here for an older, similarly-themed entry.