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.
"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.
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