So, for me this is an interesting question because I often am the one behind the camera. I’ve been the one on the asking side of the fence. I worry about the reaction people have to being asked. So often, I see someone who has an interesting face, a detailed face of age, a youthful face of beauty, all kinds of faces that I think would make excellent images.
One sad example is the old man on the bus who hit me one time (unrelated to photography). He’s 97 years old, and has a great deal of visual impact. He dresses well, wears a derby hat with a feather, his hand bears an ornate gold ring, and he has a pretty cool cane. On morning, I was sleeping on my way to the office. I was in the window seat, right hand side of the bus. The first thing I know is that I’m getting jabbed in the shoulder with a cane. He would make a great subject, if he weren’t so out of touch.
But I rarely ask. Partly because I empathize with those who don’t want their picture taken, and partly due to an avoideance of rejection. Ironically, most everyone I’ve asked has been positive about it. I tend to always give out a biz card, and offer them a copy of their picture if they email me. Fewer than two hands full of people have taken me up on the offer.
I, myself, don’t have a problem with people taking my picture. I’m cool with it, especially since I’m interested in making photographs of other people.