I was asked by someone recently about which of my photos had the most interesting backstory so here it is. You might want to make a cup of tea.
There’s a technique in street photography where you identify a good environment and wait for an interesting subject to enter the scene. It could be a cow, rickshaw or an ageing porter carrying a heavy load on there back. I feel this makes for great photos because you can capture those candid moments and the subject rarely notices you and if they do you just show them the photo on the back of the screen, compliment them and see how they react to it. If I get a sense that they are displeased I apologize and delete it. But usually by the time I’ve taken the camera away from my eye they are half way down the street.
So I found this great spot and observed the people traffic and took a shot when I saw someone complete the scene I wanted. I happened to take a photo of two stunning Nepalese woman walking hand in hand wearing their beautiful and traditional dress. A postcard picture of Nepal I thought, woohoo! On my photo-walk the following day I met a local school principal called Shivaram and we chatted for a while. He was perplexed like most Nepalese people I encountered that I was unmarried and travelling alone. He was very friendly and invited me to join him to his school for a chai and a chat. I told him when I’m not travelling I’m an English teacher so I volunteered my teaching services thinking it would be a nice change for the kids. So the next day I arrived at school ready to teach when I saw those same two beautiful Nepalese women I’d photographed. They were teachers at Shivaram’s school. I was in a dilemma. I knew I had this great photo of them but I wasn’t sure how they’d react to a candid photograph of them taken by a stranger especially considering my lack of knowledge regarding Nepalese etiquette and customs. I consulted some friends and Shivaram and showed them the photo, they agreed that the photo was too special for them not to see it. So I had them printed and gave them to Shivaram to present to them. Needless to say they loved it.