Looking at this picture I can still feel the doubt I felt that day.
A week earlier I had been on a photo-walk with a group of people I had never met before. At the end of the walk we sat down and talked about our photography, our reasons to take pictures, our projects…
Walking down the rue de Thorigny I was reminded of the woman mentioning that she had done a photo-walk where the goal was to actually go up to a person and ask if you could take their picture rather than to snap it unnoticed. I felt that I could never do that!
So what was I to do now that I stumbled on this shop with the light on in the back where this man was working and I just loved what I saw?
I stood there for a moment and did nothing and as I moved on I wondered what all of that was telling about me; what was I afraid of?
I chose to go back. Not just back. I went around the block to muster up all the courage I needed to take the picture I had in my mind. When I stood in front of the shop I took the picture, not entirely unnoticed, then I left…
I decided to deal with the ask part some other time not knowing that the whole process of doubting myself and going around the block would make for the perfect timing of “some other time”.
Crossing the street near the canal Saint Martin I met Alain. We got to talking over a can of paint he had almost tripped over and that I had avoided only because I saw him trip.
I should have taken a picture right on the spot, to show you how roads end up black… It’s really not how you think!
After the initial joking around he noticed my camera, concluding that I was either a tourist or a photographer. My accent threw him for a loop. I threw him for a question: “Can I take you picture, sir?”
Sometimes timing IS everything!