A National Geographic typical picture in a street photography style. I took it in Morocco, at the sea port of Essaouira.
I do not know why, maybe because spring is closer and closer, I need colours desperately, so I looked at some pictures in my archive about a nice holiday I had in Mexico. Despite the fact that there was the mexican flue in that period, I had such a nice time. I felt at home, they have even good pizza.
During my last travel in Marocco, I happened very often to have a word with residents, sometime I was invited even in their home, despite Marrakech is not the ideal place to take pictures of people. If someone notices your camera, most of the time covers their face, runs away if possible and gets really angry if you are still annoying. A smile or asking permission could help to break the ice, but it works at times. Lot of respect is required, you need to explain your intentions very frankly and clearly: if you get a refuse also in this case, you cannot help accepting it, trying to think for a moment what you would have done if you had been them.
I show you some pictures that I took in a very small workshop in Marrakech, where leather belts are made. One of the craftsmen invited me in, probably because he enjoyed the astonished expression of my face, while I was looking at what they were doing. I think it helped a lot the fact that I did not have a camera in my hands in that moment. Once in, I started looking around and asking lots of questions like a baby. All of them could speak English a bit, so I managed to make myself understood. I did not think of taking pictures, I wanted to see and know that new world. One of them allowed me to work for a while, just the time to make a small disaster, with only a choral laugh as a consequence.
After about half an hour I took out my camera because there was a cute light and lot of nice details to be remembered. I asked if I could take some pictures and I started, being very careful to not place the craftsmen in the framing. The situation turned around: they began to ask me thousand questions, burning with curiosity. They were so interested, they wanted to know a lot about me, both as a person and a photographer. Than they kindly asked me to show the pictures I took , they were impressed and I was allowed to take pictures of them. It was like I got a license, I could do everything, they ignored me all the time, like I was part of the workshop or one of them.
Stolen photos can be beautiful and often make sense, specially when situations are more important than the subjects. When a story with main characters needs to be told, stolen pictures do not work too much, it is necessary to give the right time to the subjects to show themselves, the same time is a priceless value for the photographer if he wants to observes, interpret and record. Taking the pictures of this post really persuaded me to often establish a deep and sincere human contact when a human story have to be told. It is not true that stolen pictures are the only way to get images with a natural look: interacting with the subjects loosens the strains and gives back authenticity. Of course the right moment has to be waited for, but to catch it the photographer should not be totally under pressure. At the same time the subject has to feel comfortable, not like a victim of an annoyer or, even worst, of a thief.
And after all, taking pictures was a small part of this beautiful experience, I felt the most intense emotions before the click.