Walking my Beat II

The challenge of photographing people consistently for one hundred days has not started to swamp me yet. In fact, I cannot see any reason why this project would fail since it involves talking to people, which I enjoy, and photography, which I love. Working with strangers on the streets is fantastic, there is an exchange of trust and authority that comes from making a portrait. The end result is a spontaneous collaboration of sorts.

In Belfast the responses have been very positive on the whole to both the project as a whole, and to me as a photographer. Whilst completing this body of work I cannot help but think back to the first time I was refused a portrait, refused so harshly that I found it hard to keep my camera out for the remainder of the day! We were in Harajuku, in Tokyo, and I spotted one of the funkiest, most crazily dressed people I have ever seen... No sooner had I raised my camera and the young woman had blocked her face and started screaming, "NO PHOTO! NO PHOTO!" The image below was taken moments before she spun on her heeled boot to confront me.

[Girl in Blue, Harajuku, 2008]

But, photography has helped me learn so much. I have found that I really enjoy approaching people, engaging with them to learn something of their true character before making a portrait. I have found that even the most intimidating looking people [such as 10/100] respond to my easygoing nature. I think always having my camera on display means that strangers can instantly understand, he is a photographer, and when I ask for a portrait the process is not encumbered by unpacking and preparing the camera. I really feel the camera should not stand in the way - it is a means of recording an interaction; a mechanism; a tool.

Aside from the 100 Portraits, I still continue to photograph the city. This is what I have found recently: