Street Portraits: Being Present, Defying Comfort Zone, False Assumptions

Mar 1, 2017 | Lifestyle, Portrait

I'm standing on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Irving Street looking through a set of images I've just taken. A smiling elder couple walks past me with the gentleman pressing a crosswalk button.

I look up. They start crossing the street. Out of a sudden a red jeep swerves onto the road, no doubt thinking the cars stopped just for him, almost running over the couple.  Startled, yet relieved, the gentleman only raises his hand in protest. Then they look at each other, smile, go back to their lively chatter as if nothing happened, and continue their journey across the road arm in arm.

Arm in arm Hallmark moment - Calgary Portrait Photographer

They're not angry. They don't yell obscenities at the driver. They don't  glare at the car as it speeds away.

They return to the present. Throughout the whole incident, she never let go of his arm or he of hers. They're so in sync with each other. To me, it's a perfect Hallmark moment. I reach out for the camera and take a photo.

With a bit of hesitation, I don't usually photograph strangers on the street and it's 100% outside my comfort zone, I summon my courage and run after them to ask permission to take their portrait.

Pleasantly surprised she looks at him and asks if he'll be OK with it. To which he happily replies yes.

I don't have to ask them to smile or pose as they do it so perfectly naturally. I inquire how long they've been together... and now it's my turn to be surprised... With a laugh, she says that they're not together and that they're just good old friends.

Did you have an interesting encounter with strangers? Share your story in the comment section below.

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