Sunday, August 21, 2011
Impromptu Environmental Portraiture
Last Friday I was leaving work and stopped to get gas at the 7-11 on the corner of 10th Ave & Federal Blvd here in Denver. It was rush hour and a lot of people (myself included) use the gas station as a shortcut to get onto Federal. This particular day I was out of gas and actually needed to make a purchase. When I pulled into the station and parked at the pump, I noticed this kid pumping gas into an old Volkswagen Bug that seemed to be turned into a bit of a roadster. While I was getting my fuel I knew I couldn't let this shot pass me by. I walked over to the kid and asked if he would mind me taking his picture. He gave me a strange look but ultimately said he didn't care. I think he was expecting me to pull out my cell phone but I walked back over to the car and grabbed my SLR. I stepped back a few feet and had to work fast as I was impeding the traffic trying to shortcut through. I snapped two photos, stepped in and snapped another. Three in all and it was over. I got his email address so I could let him know how it turned out and I was on my way.
The reason I call it impromptu environmental portraiture, rather than street photography or candid, is because I took the time to ask him if I could shoot the photo. Doing true street photograhy I would never bother to ask, I would just try to blend in but I was very afraid that he would be finished pumping gas before I could get the photo done.