Outside St Mary’s there was this bus.
To me there seemed to be a whole bag of stories relating to this bus, the people on it, the people who own and maintain it, where it’s been and what it’s doing outside St Mary’s on a Thursday morning.
And I’d love to know. And I’d love to photograph them.
But what came over me as I walked past the bus was a familiar old feeling of intrusion. It’s one I used to feel when I saw something like this on my holidays – I was fascinated, I knew there was a great story waiting to be told, I could even see some captivating photographs waiting to be taken, but I was inhibited by not wanting to intrude: I had no real right to pry for the sake of a good photograph.
My curiosity isn’t stronger than someone else’s privacy.
I thought that perhaps this would change now I do this for a living. I’m a full-time professional photographer now. But clearly for me that doesn’t give me the right to be nosey for a photograph no-one has asked me to take. Even if it will be fantastic.
Maybe it’s my English background. No doubt many other stunning photographs have been created without such qualms. Maybe the people concerned would have been more than happy to tell me their story and let me photograph them.
But the best thing about doing this professionally (for me) is that people ask you to photograph them and tell their story. It’s the asking that makes the difference.
So I shot this ‘from the hip’ without the people on the bus noticing and went about my own business. That probably says a lot about me but I’m OK with that.