Michael W. Thomas
February 10, 2020

My Regret

There's a line that one must respect as a photographer. A line that, if crossed, disrupts your ability to authentically document and tell the story without influencing the subject. But life decisions like whether to cross the line, unlike my photographs, are never completely Black & White.

It was disheartening to observe and wonder how this gentlemen was feeling at the moment I took this shot several days ago.

Assuming the worst caused me feelings of regret that I did not have the courage to just walk up to him and ask if he was ok. Street photography can reveal what many may not see or ignore but then what?

I was embarrassed and ashamed probably more than my assumption of how he felt.

As I sat down tonight to put words to this image I struggled at what to write when I did not make an effort that day to reach out.

I stared at the image several times and then it hit me... I realized that I and probably all of us have experienced similar moments in our lives.

The circumstances and challenges encountered in life does not make the strain of what we feel any different. Speaking only for myself I know that I have felt the weight "of my head in my hand" (and I have a big head..teehee.) and though my situation at the time was not as dire (as I am assuming of this gentleman) a feeling of fatigue, worry and adversity is something we all have probably felt in our lives.

I like the fact that I feel connected to the good, bad and indifferent images I capture.

It makes me feel alive, aware and concerned.

Hopefully it will help me learn that the lens is not a protective barrier but can also be a bridge.

Anyone can take a photo but what can be given back in return?


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