There is a movement in art - I've probably written about it before - of which my mother is a big fan. It is called "found art." She frequently asks us to send her gum wrappers, tickets and scraps of paper that we find in German gutters. She makes collages out of them.
As a photographer who learned to work with ambient light, I still look for potential catch lights and nice lighting when I am walking around. Often I'll be sitting across from someone in the streetcar and the sun will shine in a way that makes me want to ask permission to snap away. "But what would people think?" I ask myself. When I'm on the town with my daughter, it's different. When I asked Fiona to stand next to these bar stools in the theater café, she obliged. What resulted was, I think, the most beautiful picture I've ever taken of her.
Back to "But what would people think?" Well, what would they think? I've come to the conclusion - in part thanks to my elder sister's recent declaration of "I am an artist" - that it is my job to take pictures wherever I am. That's the way I express myself.
Some people express themselves loudly in public places.
Some do it in Internet forums.
Others do it in print.
Still others let their needs be known in more physical ways.
In the picture above, I was taking part in a photowalk (one of my favorite past-times) with a fotocommunity group from Kirchheim. We saw this attractive woman and her dog and asked if we could photograph her. She said yes. What did she think? I don't know. Unfortunately, she was gone before I could give her my card.
Speaking of cards, I've handed out my cards to people whom I have wanted to photograph and asked them to check out this blog and contact me if they were interested in having their picture taken. As yet I've had little luck, but I feel the tide turning.