Quantum physics tells us that the nature of something is changed by the observer. So too does the camera change reality. Things are different as soon as we take out a camera and point it at someone or something. Does this change the photographer as well? It certainly does when his or her subject is staring back at the lens.
I've always been a shy photographer. Knowing that I'm being observed while I'm photographing is of profound interest to me. Sometimes I get so absorbed in my work that I don't even realize that my subjects are looking back at me. I only discover that they are when I inspect the processed images. My reaction to this discovery is always mixed. I appreciate the (sometimes) intense engagement but also find it disconcerting. I prefer to think of myself as being in a bubble—an admittedly ridiculous notion. In truth, I am part of it all and my camera's protection is only an illusion. There is no separation.
This is a collection of people in public knowing that they're being photographed. We have connected for but a moment at a certain time on a certain day within a certain lifetime. Photography allows that moment to survive.