I guess there is a lesson for all of us in this, it’s not my usual write up for these pages but interesting to me at least.
I was in London at the weekend visiting family. Whilst walking round the part of London that I really can’t afford (London) I’d already been asked to photograph three women who I didn’t know in South Molton St, they were posing in front of a shop window with fried eggs as a window feature, ahem. Anyway 10 minutes later and I’m trying to cross Regent St when I notice two women photographing in the central reservation. When the photographer gave the phone back I realised I’m not the only stranger who gets asked to photograph people.
Anyway, the phone recipient then asked me to photograph her.
It seemed she knew what she was looking for – she rejected my first shots on her phone twice (lighting, composition) she even told me that the sharpness was OK, but by this time I was feeling a bit pressured.
Whilst chatting I found she was originally from Romania and I’d stated that my price was for the shots stealing her soul with the Leica M9 that I was travelling with. Whilst attempting to photograph her, and I’m not quick with the Leica, my nephew Caleb called me from Toronto for some advice on his own photography project, she blew a kiss for him!
So, the Leica isn’t a camera that I would normally attempt portraits with, the 50mm lens I guess is OK for the full length shots though, but, I had a camera with me. The light was flat but workable. The woman was committed to getting an image and clearly had a good idea what she was looking for and she was willing to work at it, repeatedly too. I reckon one of us knew what we were doing.
Ten minutes later I was sat in The Photographers’ Gallery chatting with Caleb, I WhatsApped some shots of the Leica screen (it’s set to create RAW and mono JPEGs) to explain what he’d interrupted.