I love a photo that has story that goes along with it. Case in point… On a recent trip to Portugal, my wife & I were strolling the streets of the Alfama district of Lisbon. It is well-known for the enormous photo opportunities that are hidden at every turn. We came upon a street where there were wonderful portraits of old people posted on the walls of the buildings. I was enthralled. The Portuguese honour & respect their elderly and have not yet succumbed to the nasty habit of shuffling them off to “old people’s homes”. Hence the photos displayed on the street.
As I was winding up my studies, I heard someone call to me. Low & behold there was this elderly woman sitting in a chair behind an open door. She was obviously placed there so she could see the world go by. I judged her age to be close to 100 years old (if not older).
My dilemma was do I or don’t I take the shot? I guess I could have just snapped away. She would have been oblivious. Instead I asked her if I could take her photo. After the affirmative, I took just one shot of a beautiful old woman. My day was complete!
The photo appears as taken. I guess I could have cropped it to adhere to the rule of thirds. But I figure she looks more diminutive framed by that huge door.
Footnote: Thanks to my friend Eric Kim for allowing me to attain a certain level of comfort towards photographing utter strangers.