Street Photography Is So Sad

I had a run-in with a woman yesterday; not the woman who's the centre of attention here and apparently crying (she wasn't really crying; I had my Soul Filter on the lens and was able to pick out her inner feelings about the heat and humidity quite well) but the woman behind and to the right with the pushchair.

Let's set the scene: lunchtimes usually involve a colleague and me making a mad dash to get out of the office for an hour. I have a camera, he has his lunch. We then – more often than not – meet up with another street photographer and we spend that lunch break chatting about work, people, technology, photography, and anything else that comes to mind while the two of us armed with cameras keep an eye out for interesting bodies or events to unfold. It's the sort of thing that makes working for a living tolerable.

So, yesterday…

"Are you taking pictures of people?" asked the woman (five-to-six months pregnant) with the double pushchair.

The three of us stopped our conversation and glanced around at her. Dan – the other photographer – and I nodded and smiled. I gestured at the precinct. "People, events, life… yes," I said.

She turned up her nose. "That is so sad," she said.

Raised eyebrows from us and we turned away and ignored her, continuing our conversation. A friend of hers arrived then and I spotted her saying something to her friend with a look of disgust on her face and then the pair of them glancing at our group. I sighed. Her husband/boyfriend then also turned up and the same thing happened.

It shouldn't have got to me. I shouldn't have cared what some small-minded, possibly hormonally-imbalanced, rude cow thinks about what we do for fun. But it did get to me.

Looking through the photos I took yesterday I spotted her in the background of a number of shots, always looking directly at the camera. I'd like to think that she was upset that she wasn't the centre of attention for any pictures we took. I'd also like to think that I'll eventually let this slide and not worry about it anymore. Unfortunately, I don't think either of those things is true.

For #StreetSaturday by +Siddharth Pandit, and for #StreetPics by +Arnold Goodway.

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Author: Mark

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18 Comments

  1. What an interesting story….. but I am left hanging here, I want to know what exactly makes it "sad"??

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  2. If you'd said "Yes, I'm a photojournalist" she'd have been like "Oh" and left it at that instead of thinking you had no life or loved ones to take pictures of in her judgmentally biased world.

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  3. There's nothing sad about taking pictures. What's sad is that she thinks it is sad. I'm sad for her.

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  4. "debussy understood that a work of art , or an effort to create beauty, was always regarded by some people as a personal attack." — art of noise

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  5. What a bizarre thing to say. I wonder if she goes up to landscape painters and says the same thing. "You're painting what you see? How sad." ???

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  6. Sad people. I bet they think "fun" is sitting around watching rubbish on telly! Let them get on with it… Try not to get mad by this attitude or you'll go insane. There are a lot of idiots on this planet.

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  7. Great shot, +Mark Hooper – I realized the other day watching a sports event on TV that the cameras routinely pan the crowd in between the action. The directors are always putting up shots of interesting people and scenes – crazy outfits, young couples, funny signs. People like to "people watch" – apparently even this woman and her friends who were watching you and your mates.

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  8. Judging from the look on her face, your soul filter is of extremely high quality. :D J/K, She's jealous of your perceived life. Two howling screamers and another on the way, she's a very stressed woman with little time for her own interests, so she's hating on you guys. Don't let it bother you, she needs a break.. or she's just a hormonal cow.

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  9. Some people have absolutely no understanding of the concept of art. I say they are the sad ones. How empty my life would be without art.

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  10. "I had my Soul Filter on the lens and was able to pick out her inner feelings" – love that!

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