They always say that if your instincts tell you to take the shot, you should never pass up that opportunity or you will live to regret it.
Well in the case of the above, I stopped and had a short conversation with him because I noticed the plethora of tattoos all over his arms and legs. He seemed like he had a lot on his mind and he definitely wanted someone to talk to, but I was with my friends and didn’t want to hold them up, as we were making our way to the New Covenant church grounds.
Well, I ended our conversation and started across the street. I then decided to turn around and ask him for his photograph, because I knew that deep down in my gut, if I didn’t, I would live to regret it.
Sure enough, he was cool with me taking his picture. I took a few frames…and sure enough, he wanted to talk some more. I obliged for a few more minutes, and then politely ended the conversation and caught up with my friends.
It’s amazing what you can learn about people. The takeaways for me from my encounter with Tattoo Joe? One, you can make someone’s day just by being a listening ear. I found out that he was really going through it, if the tall boy of malt liquor and the cigars sitting beside him on the porch were any clue.
Next, and more importantly for me, it’s always vitally important to follow my instincts when I’m out on the streets shooting. If my gut instinct tells me to approach someone for a photo, I should follow it and not worry about the possibility of rejection. It all will work out in the end.