Trotting along per my usual, coming from some crazy place taking photos, I come down the escalator and BOOM... here he is.
I don't know him. I didn't ask to take this photo. But in that moment, there's so much happening. I wondered after I snapped it, where he was going, who he is and what he was thinking about. I wondered if he had come from work.
But he was standing there, what was I supposed to do? Those who know me well know there's no way I was about to let this moment pass. Maybe about 6'5 in all his precious glory and who was I NOT to take this photo? How could I not capture him? I don't even know what his face looked like. Didn't matter. Can't you see his glory?
Sometimes, you just have to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
And there it is.
In the words of Thomas Hoepker, "If I'd asked I wouldn't have the photo."
To be honest though, most of us as photographers struggle with the idea of taking the photo. Whether we need to ask. It used to be understood if you were in public, you weren't assuming privacy any longer but the culture has shifted in some ways. Still, you happen upon those moments and just need to get the photo -- if you hesitate, you'll miss it. Additionally, there are moments where it's too important to raise the camera. That you need to be present. You may not capture it, but you'll still have the memory. Again, there's a very unique struggle.
I don't often post photos of people. I probably should. There are some sitting in the archives from the last years. I actually enjoy taking photos of people. But I've found, the best time to do that is when you don't know. Or when they're in their element. I actually don't enjoy staged photos.
Or maybe I do, but it's staged in a moment when you're effortlessly beautiful and can't exactly see me. Either way, just thought I'd share this shot with you.