PHOTO OF THE DAY: Meet Joe the Tattoo Artist.

Meet Joe (b/w)
Taken April 21, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

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.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith Miller says:

    I particularly enjoyed reading this post today because I think it really hit home regarding the importance of following your instincts, but most importantly, it also shed light on the human condition. Regardless of how closed off we are or another person may seem to be, we all need someone to listen and just talk to us. I smile when I think about the fact that your artistic gift goes extends beyond photographs, but really has the capacity to change the life of someone else, touching them in ways that neither of you thought possible. If more people took the time to take 5 minutes to at least greet someone, the world would truly be a better place.

    Cheers to following your instincts, great captures, and photos that tell stories!


    1. Hey, thanks for commenting on today’s post. You’re right, a small investment of 5 minutes or less can really make someone’s day. The more I approach people on the street, the more I see this principle in action. We can only be better if we try to do better.

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