An interaction with a concerned citizen surrounding street photography
Originally published on Tumblr:
[ As heard on the suburban sidewalk seen in the mirror, three minutes after this picture was taken, (translated from Polish): ]
A Deeply Concerned Middle-aged Woman walks from her house at a quickened pace down a suburban sidewalk in pursuit of a recent passerby : Sir!! Sir!!
Street Photographer: Yes?
DCMW [catching her breath, incensed] : You just took pictures of my house! WHY DID YOU TAKE PICTURES OF MY HOUSE….??
SP: Because it’s beautiful.
DCMW [more incensed] : Nonsense, My house is NOT beautiful! WHY DID YOU TAKE PICTURES OF MY HOUSE?!??!
SP: I took pictures of your house because I think it’s beautiful.
DCMW: [ still incensed, speaking faster, gibberish used in place of words not understood]: NO! sadkgjargmnlamnbgioari sdljtioskf lleiognjs hpoltruwiflo odhenalfd,keltro! dlkjnlsv mn lsdfkjrohgjr edkxltk mdlfi!! sdkjrmnlakreoekfc, slkjrjodjgdvo ksdlkroibvotlrfaofl! MY HOUSE IS NOT BEAUTIFUL! WHY DID YOU TAKE PICTURES OF MY HOUSE???
SP: Ma'am, you are Polish, right?
DCMW [slightly calmer]: Yes…
SP: You have lived in Poland your whole life, right?
DCMW: I have, yes…
SP: Well, I am not from here, I grew up in a very different place, a place that looks nothing like Poland. I used to live here many years ago and took hundreds of photographs a week because I could not believe how beautiful it was. I am a photographer; I sell photographs as part of my living, and I come back here again and again because I it’s nothing like my home; for me, Poland is special.
DCMW: You’re a photographer…?
SP: Yes; I take more than 20,000 photographs a year in many countries that I find beautiful and I sell them in art galleries.
DCMW: Do you have any of your photographs on the internet?
SP: Yes certainly, I can give you my information if you’d like. [takes a notebook and a pen out of his pocket].
DCMW: Ummmm…yes. Yes sure, please.
SP [writing contact information and tearing page out of the notebook]: Here you go, please have a look, I hope you like them. Many that I have on the Internet are from Poland, other parts of Europe and the United States.
DCMW: Okay, I will go to these pages…thank you.
SP: Great, ma'am. Happy New Year.
DCMW: You too.
Right after this happened, I realized it was a pretty solid summary of the last 20 years that I’ve spent taking photographs in public, first as a hobby, then as more of an enthusiast while shooting commercially, and subsequently in the fine art market. 30ish countries into my travels shooting my everyday surroundings, I find there’s a sliver of every population (more in some places than others) quite convinced that I’m in espionage or sent by their ex- to investigate them; it often takes awhile to get across that my aim is nowhere near that nefarious.
More to come here of sights and experiences present and past.
Thanks for reading this far.
( January 2015 )
( Rybnik, Poland )