I have a problem photographing strangers. I feel uncomfortable asking permission (I would not like strangers to photograph me …), and “stealing” an image without permission is a no-no. Treating others as ‘strange beings’ photographed like animals for a National Geographic features - also makes me cringe. So usually, when photographing on a trip, I stick to places and things. And yet, sometimes ….
September 2018, Greece. The mountainous part, small to tiny villages, some of them untouched by tourists yet. We are a small group travelling together for 10 days, sampling the tastes of rural Greece. It’s afternoon, we are on our way to the hotel, stopping for a short break at Kastoria, a village on the lake shore. We spend some time in an old house turned museum. Just next to the entrance, an older lady is knitting. She is just beautiful. Timeless. Untouched by the 5G antennas that no one knows how will they impact us, from the Supreme Court nominees. From the everyday noises that fill our lives. Every hour does seem to have 60 full minutes here, and she seems to make the best of each one of them. I want to take a picture of her, but there are 20 people with cameras around me, I am not going to turn her into a zoo animal. So I give up, and go into the house. When we come out of the museum, the knitting lady is not by herself, two other people joined her. They make such a beautiful picture. Temptation mounts. Our group starts walking down the alley. I stay behind. In a wordless pantomime, I ask them if I can take their picture. The woman nods, seems surprised by my question. I click the shutter then smile bowing my head, thanking them. “You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.” So true.