I have been enthusiastically taking photos for a long time with any camera that was handy. When I first got my SLR some years ago, I went walking around Brisbane CBD taking photos, primarily of buildings & the river views.
I ended up chatting to a homeless man outside McDonald’s for quite a while and hearing his life story. Not surprisingly, it was quite sad; but he was very optimistic, and I think he just enjoyed having someone to talk with. He asked me to take a photo of him playing his harmonica, which I snapped quickly and without much thought to the technical or artistic aspects of image making. He gave me a little beaded crocodile on a key-ring to say thank you, which now hangs on my camera bag. I kept a print of his photo in my bag when I was around the city for a few months, but never saw him again.
Someone else’s experiences with taking photos “out and about” reminded me of this man the other day, and prompted me to re-visit this photo. Essentially, it is one of the first true portraits I ever made. It isn’t anything photographically spectacular, but it reminds me that every image tells a story, and everyone has a story to tell. I will always have fond memories of this day.