Did I tell you I do not photograph beggars?

Published on: 18th Sep 2017
In Street Photography Tips

In my previous post I mentioned that I do not often photograph homeless people or beggars as I would not like to exploit their current situation.

This specific photo does include one of those typical street singers one find quite often in China. They are normally physically handicapped and they will choose a location where their handicap will attract more pity from the passersby. They even choose a very low stance (sitting or lying down) to make it as obvious as possible that they are physically handicapped and they do not necessarily have a great voice.

I took this photo (called "The Benefactor") in a subway in Hong Kong. The subject of my photograph was not the beggar, but rather the old man. We entered the subway simultaneously and I was immediately fascinated by his gentlemen-like look and walk. I decided to follow him to see if it will not result in a photograph.

When I heard the distinctive sound of such a typical musician (beggar) I increased my pace in order to get in front of the old gentleman. When I reached the singer I was far enough ahead to turn around and see whether I could create a photo with the beggar and the gentleman in the same frame.

It was at this time that luck turned my way; The gentleman stopped, took out his wallet and look for some change to give to the beggar. I managed to get one photo before he became aware of me.

I just smiled and walk away.

Street Photography Tip - Anticipation

When doing street photography it is important to "read" peoples behaviour and anticipate the possible next-step-scenarios. But it is also important to then prepare yourself for what you hope is the most likely outcome. With a bit of luck on your side, it just might result in a great photo.

(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)