Continuing with my ROT Rally street photography, I happened upon this portrait. And while it looks straight forward, it’s something I haven’t done previously. Let me explain.
I’ve had an unofficial rule that I didn’t want to shoot portraits of people who were down on their luck. Either people on the street or situations where it looks like I was exploiting someone’s bad fortune. For this reason, this is an atypical subject.
In my rapid street photography attempt to capture scenes of interest, I saw this gentleman busily making this sign. What I didn’t realize was his misfortune. He sensed my photography and turned to pose, displaying his handiwork. That’s when I snapped the shutter.
It was a split second portrait but I think I captured a sense of pride. Pride in his sign, even though his circumstances might not be ideal. It’s the kind of portrait that I rarely make. Something that captures true emotion, subtle but unmistakable.
Truth be told, I was a little embarrassed and I hurried away. I also didn’t realize the shot I got until afterwards. I wished I gave him a buck, which is what he was requesting on his other sign. A sign, which I didn’t see, until a few days later.
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