Three different photos taken in Dublin in the last month were sent to a few friends. Two of them were run of the mill Street Photos. However the third was different. It affected one of the people who received them, and they said it was a sad photo. The picture depicted an elderly lady begging using a walking stick to prop herself up, and I am not even sure she had legs. Although I think she did.
I gave her some money before I took the shot. It didn’t make me feel any better but I always feel without paying performers or the homeless you have no right to take their picture. If they are homeless you still have no right, but some of them want their photo taken.
It’s important to remember why you take these photos. You are a documentarian. You are capturing a moment in someone else’s life not your own, so offer the same level of respect you would expect to receive.
Either way, the photo created an emotional response which was what I was after in some aspect. Sadness, Laughter and Pain are a Street Photographer’s three bullets. Practice with them. Use them. And try not to miss….