I've always had a fascination with downtown Edmonton. The towers of steel and glass, the stained concrete, the odd smells. Everything about it balances to create a euphoric feeling that overwhelms me. I often find myself wandering the streets aimlessly, somehow finding tranquility in the urban chaos.
(Photo by Shelby Cender)
The most intriguing part of downtown are the people that wander the streets. They come from all walks of life. Some willing to share stories about their past.
This Gentleman approached us, which does not usually happen. Especially when they see a camera around my neck. We spend the next hour listening to him tell us stories of his recent pain and suffering. I find most people I meet downtown just want someone to share their experiences with. I really enjoy listening to strangers tell stories.
Many people when first asked to take their photo say no. The trick is to not give up right away, sparking conversation with something completely unrelated to photography can break the ice and allow them to trust you. This gentleman said no, but after talking about his beliefs he changed his mind and let me photograph the moment.
Many times I don't ask before I take photographs of people. Our instinct is to pose when we know we are having our photo taken. Real street photography is raw, a slice of life unaltered. The greatest moments are captured when you don't ask for it.
This is another example of a "Real" slice of life. I beautiful moment of interaction that could not be caught if asked for first.
Here is an example of when asking can make a great photograph. Here she is showing me some of her drawings. A great moment that I will remember forever because of this photograph.