Strangers may be friendlier than you think
Yesterday I got the first comment on my new-born blog and the comment mentioned one issue every street photographer has to face: negative reaction or response from the subject.
Yes, you got to have the guts to face and deal with that and my wife lately often warns me of the possibility of violent reaction of disgruntled subjects when taking street photos. I remember that in Hong Kong I was once ordered by an angry butcher to delete the photo I took of him and his butcher shop.
But in most cases, I did not encounter serious reaction, thanks mostly to the big smile I wear whenever I take photos of strangers openly. Wear a big smile when taking a shot and nod your head to express your thanks after the shot, this is what I do. It works so far. My subject may not really like being photoed but he/she forgives me when he/she sees my innocent smile and friendly nod.
Sometimes, strangers on the street are friendlier than you think and may even ask you to take photos of them when they see you hold a nice camera in hand. That usually happens when groups of happy young people are around.
And that happened to me in Budapest early September. It was near mid-night Friday night, in front of the brightly lit beautiful St. Stephens Church. A group of young people saw I was taking photos of the church and came over and asked me to take a couple of them fooling around. No, no, no, they were not drunk or stoned. They were just in good spirit (young people normally feel particularly good when they hang out on weekend). Here are the photos:
It was fun!