This morning I got up extra early to catch the morning glow.
Yes. Finding the light.
It actually feels good to be up and walking about early in the morning. You can feel the sunshine, you can feel that people are energetic and they seem more approachable (? – that’s just my interpretation). I took the route to how I normally walk to work. Went passed a bunch of workers and the light falls perfectly, so I, without approaching, wanted to shoot. But then they found me pointing my big camera at them so I went up with a smile, introduced myself, and really bluntly just said that the light was great on them that’s why I wanted to take a photo.
To my surprise, they were really nice and friendly. We had small talks but then they still refused to let me take portraits of them.
Sigh. One lemon today (that’s a Chinese saying for getting one refusal).
But then, the refusal didn’t hit me as much like yesterday. I just felt good being there and able to talk with them. (And more importantly, I didn’t have to make up stories of why I want to shoot them or think of what’s the best way to approach them). It just feels so great to be honest. Completely honest.
Maybe I was in a happy mood. I had a big smile on my face. And when you do that, people smile back at you. It’s like they are your mirror. Then I came across Elisha — such a cute dog. I was so genuinely interested in the dog. It made it easier to talk with the dog walker. And then magic happened, I got her to let me take a photo!!! (not forgetting the light as well!!).
But you know what? and this is very important I later found out, is that I didn’t care whether she let me take the photo or not, I had a great time chatting with her and knowing about her, and… (here comes the VERY important bit)
when you show your interest in people, they are more willing to show interest in you and what you do
When you switch your purpose from photoshooting people to meeting people, you will be amazed by what you experienced — Honestly and crossed my heart. So after meeting her, I also met several other people and successfully got them to let me take photos — because, I was genuinely interested in their stories. My success rate has gone from 20% to 75% =) and the feeling was great (not because of the success rate but because… I have learned something from each of them today (Horray!!).
ps. I still haven’t managed to get a portrait from a local. Maybe the approach needs a slight tweet (I’ll browse about that tomorrow).