souk portrait #5 / 19 April, 2009 [click for previous image: souk portrait #4]
souk portrait #5 / 19 April, 2009 [click for next image: Sheikh Zayed road]
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Title • souk portrait #5

I wasn't intending to post this one, but Kevin asked an interesting question when I posted my last shot that got me thinking. He said:

"I'd love to hear how you (and others) approach these strangers (particularly in foreign countries) to take their pictures. I'd be afraid to do it as I would think it an imposition. How do you phrase the question?"

What this question made me realise was that the various portraits that I've posted that were shot in the Souk naturally lead to that question; i.e. I've portrayed these guys in a way that makes them look a bit unapproachable. This shot, on the other hand, shows this guy in a different light, and was taken just after my good friend Bobbi Lane had been shooting him. If you take a look at the front page of Bobbi's website you will notice that all of the people are smiling, as was this guy while she was photographing him.

In terms of answering Kevin's question, this is important for two reasons. Firstly, this guy wasn't as nearly unapproachable as my last shot implies, and second, people will react to you in the way that you react to them. In my case, I guess I often look reasonably serious when I approach people, and I get a reasonably serious response, while Bobbi's approach is quite different. I guess the bottom line here is that a portrait is as much about the relationship you establish with your subject as it is about them, and it's made me realise that I probably need to lighten up a bit ;)

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11.11am on 5/4/09
Canon 1Ds Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
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