So, there I was, hitting the pavements of Stralsund on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast.
I was happily walking along some narrow alleys wondering how to best do what I like doing most, which is to photograph street portraits.
In a previous post I mentioned that it is now illegal to photograph people without their consent, thereby rendering natural street photography pretty much redundant in Germany.
It is of course permissible to ask first and shoot later, or to photograph in such a way that people can’t be identified.
Contemplating that it might be time to start asking people if I could take their photograph I dreaded the possibility of missing good images because I might get turned down.
In general my approach has always been to ask before photographing and during many journeys outside of Germany I have rarely been turned down.
But Germans are different and most just aren’t keen to be photographed.
So the chance of asking for a photograph and losing out is pretty high.
Anyway, my wonderful travel guide – who has a habit of taking the mikey out of me – had earlier pinned a mid-sized pirate flag to my camera bag.
Turns out that Germans found this funny and wherever I went the flag brought smiles to peoples faces.
It also turned out that it was easier to ask people for permission to photograph.
Somehow this pirate flag had the ability to engage people in a way that merely being human did not.
The lovely couple below is one such example of barriers being broken down by the use of a pirate flag.
We saw each other coming…and there we were…a match made in heaven, and what I think is a fab portrait.
After making the picture I asked the couple if I could email them a copy of the image.
To this the gentleman kindly replied that they’d just gotten rid of their computer.
And there you go, another lesson learned. We don’t all need this modern stuff to happily get by in life.
Many thanks to the friendly couple, who made a wonderful photographic subject.