Portrait of a young woman - San Angel Market, Mexico City

Portrait of a young woman - San Angel Market, Mexico City copyright Jerome Shaw 2007 / www.JeromeShaw.com
A young woman mans a fruit stand in the market of San Angel. At one time it was a small town outside
of Mexico City, San Angel has now been absorbed by the staggering sprawl of the capital city Mexico.

 Portrait of a young woman - San Angel Market, Mexico City

The market in San Angel, though indoors, has a good quality of light for photography and an excellent variety goods for purchase. It has everything from windows of fish packed in ice to hanging rows of freshly butchered chickens. There dozens of kinds fruit and vegetables.  There are peanuts, piƱatas and pumpkins, fabric and flowers, shrimp and spices, and coconuts, crabs and cactus inside the two block market. There are many places to grab a bite to eat.  It is a lively place to spend time and a great place to make photographs.  

I had to coax a smile out of this young woman at the San Angel market.  I mimed that I wanted to take a photo of her but at first she did not respond.  I looked into the camera to set up my shot and expected her expression to indicate whether I had her permission, but she was deadpan. I took one shot of her with a flat, stolid expression. I peeked around the camera and smiled at her. She smiled back and after one more exposure I knew I had my shot.  

I had lined up the composition to include the stack of oranges at the front of the stand to contrast with a background of bright yellow bananas. Light from an exterior doorway was coming from behind me.  I was shooting with a 180mm f 2.8 lens so I knew the minimal depth of field would isolate my subject. All I needed was a smile, a moment, to create a photograph.

Do you like to photograph people or would you rather photograph subjects that don't talk back?  How do you handle photographing people in public environments?  Do you ask before you shoot or beg forgiveness if the subject objects? Share you methods in the comments below.

Contact me at @JeromeShaw  or Facebook 

copyright Jerome Shaw 2007 / www.jeromeshaw.com

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