I walked into this scene and as a photographer I could not resist the urge to take a snapshot. When I realize they were both staring at me I approached the man and told him “I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Are you okay?” He immediately let his guard down and proceeded to tell me in great detail what happened. His girflriend or wife suddenly moved me aside gently with her arm, looked at him and said “Don’t talk.”
I was thinking about this encounter and how I felt immediately after it. I realized what I have suspected all along, that to be a photographer is to be hated. To this woman, I was the enemy. A stranger documenting a crash on a public street, but the man did not give me that same reaction. He trusted me from the start, and only stopped talking after his wife told him not to. I guess opposites really do attract.
I told her she didn’t have anything to worry about and I went on my way. The lesson I took from this is that to be a photographer, you need to have a thick skin. I take these moments, and I internalize them. I go over them in my head over and over again, replaying everything that happened and everything that was said. I think about her facial expression, and the mans dumbfounded look right after his wife shusshed him. I wonder what the cop on the scene thought about me talking to the driver and taking pictures. I worry about what she is saying at the dinner table and to her co-workers about me. Is she calling me a dirty photographer with no respect for privacy? Is she wondering and worrying if I am going to do something bad with the photographs? I think about all of this, and many other aspects of what happened constantly, and I do this with every experience I have in life. Photography wise, I truly cannot resist getting the image. I am a little aprehensive and shy before every single photo I take, but if am drawn to what I see, the shyness subsides and curiosity wins out.