Taking a picture on a public street is a touchy thing. Unless they pose or give consent, I make it a point not to point my camera in people’s faces. I do take a certain type of picture surreptitiously, usually a public tableau, where people appear in the background, at a distance, or from behind. Usually I’m not taking pictures of people, per se, but things: buildings, streetscapes, nature. There are have been moments when people have demanded to know what the hell I’m up to with a camera, who did I think I was, taking pictures of their store without permission. Until last night, no one has ever crossed a busy boulevard to confront me as Fouad did when I took a picture of his tire shop at dusk.
In answer to the why, I told him I was a photographer.
‘Oh,’ he replied, his mood lightening considerably, ‘I thought you were up to some funny business.’
Satisfied I wasn’t a private detective or insurance investigator, he invited me to cross the street and take a picture closer up. He even cheerfully posed: