It's been a whirlwind of a ride over the past three years from the time I first picked up a camera to where I am today in terms of ability, equipment and hopefully skill in being able to take decent photographs. That being said, on my last venture trying to capture the essence of New York City on digital 'film' I ran into a couple trying to capture themselves in the scene with their phones. I see it pretty much all the time when I am out shooting, but today I stopped. I stopped and thought how wonderful it is for me to be able to take the photographs that I take and how wonderful it would be if I could show them just what could be done with a well wielded DSLR.
I went over to them, introduced myself as a photographer and asked if they would like me to take the photograph for them. They eagerly agreed and then I pulled out my gear, tripod and all and started shooting. They were not expecting this at all and were completely overwhelmed by the gesture. Their family members were standing off to the side and so I called for them to get into the shot as well.
Thus a family got an impromptu photo-shoot, with beautiful shots that they can blow up to billboard size, frame and keep for the rest of their lives. We exchanged emails and after I processed the images I sent it over to much gratitude and appreciation. They really loved the shots and could hardly believe that I wasn't charging them for it.
Don't get me wrong, I think that it is a mistake for photographers to give out freebies all the time as it makes it so much harder for the next guy to make a living shooting stills. Yet, 5 minutes of my time for some quick snapshots brought the art of photography to a family who most likely could not afford a professional to shoot them. In that sense it doesn't take away from the pool in that it helps introduce people to the artistic possibilities that a lens can create. Not only that, I got to meet some great people and that in and of itself makes the whole thing worthwhile.
I am terribly shy around strangers, and I have no idea how I found the courage to ask them if they wanted me to shoot them, but from now on I will do my best to do just that. Tune into the blog to see not only what I shoot, but who I meet along the way. It might be you!