Carrying a camera around in a public place is tricky business. Sometimes I think people assume the worst in the person behind the lens. The world of paparazzi and hysterical mass media have made us wary of everything and everyone. Try carrying a tripod around a few major buildings in a big city and watch the reaction. Most likely a security guard will pop up out of nowhere and tell you to go away. When a society assumes the worst, it usual realizes its expectations. Sadly, fear is big business.
The fear of photography gives me angst. My camera and I are simply trying to find that little sliver of a moment when people become themselves. Sadly, cameras can get in the way of the treasure hunt. People stiffen, sometimes smile, other times scowl. They tend to look at the camera askance, out of the corner of the eye. While the reaction to the camera is part of the reality of the moment, my goal is to trigger the shutter just before that happens. While my intentions are good, it makes me feel more like a hunter than an artist.
The world of photography is partly to blame for the hostility towards it. Photography can be aggressive and invasive. Examine, for a moment, the language of photography. We capture images, take photos, and shoot our subjects. The term, snapshot, is borrowed from the sport of gun shooting. I know not why these terms were adopted by photographers. However, I try never to use them.
Who among us wants to be shot, captured, and taken?