The Kid And Me

A Street Portrait Gets Good

  • Mostly luck, magic and timing.
  • An invitation matters.
  • Work quickly.
  • Don’t overstay your welcome.
  • Thank everyone.
Get yourself some cheap sunglasses.

The bullet points should tell you everything that you need to know about making a picture like this one.

But, just in case.

No matter how well you plan for every possible situation when you arrive on the scene everything changes. As boxer Mike Tyson said, “You can plan for every situation, but once you get punched in the face everything changes.” Pictures like this are a matter of luck, timing and magic. Look in another direction and you miss the picture.

Getting inside a benevolent society’s club house takes an invitation or introduction. It took about three years before the doorman knew me well enough to wave me inside when he saw me coming. Patience and a good sense of humor matters.

The folks inside are getting ready to walk in their second second line. They are nervous, excited and getting dressed. They don’t mind you being there as long as you are respectful and mindful of their space. They know why you are there so you don’t have to ask permission, but a gentle nod works wonders.

Work efficiently and leave when you are done. Not only are you respecting them but you are respecting other photographers who might come behind you.

As you leave thank everyone either with your eyes, a handshake or fist bump. That works wonders the next time you are inside their clubhouse. Likely, it will be the same location and the same people so bring small prints with you. Give them to everyone involved the year before. You have no idea how much that means.

The picture. I cropped it into a square from a horizontal photograph with way too much dead space in it. I darkened and softened it to make it look a little more contemporary, at least as many galleries see things these days.

I used a WordPress patterns template that utilized a little horizontal picture just to see what would happen if I did. The picture was resized and made huge. Fine with me. I like huge photographs.



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