Portrait on a Bus

Submitted to Nice to Meet You
Uploaded 28 Jul 2011 — 1 favorite
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© Mike Russell
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Photo license: © All rights reserved


One Saturday afternoon, my wife and I headed to downtown Seattle to roam around in search of good light for some portrait shots for a homework assignment. On the bus ride down, someone sitting behind us ask if I was a picture taker because my tripod was sticking out of my backpack. From years of traveling on public transportation and having people ask for money or just be downright belligerent, my initial reaction was to just ignore him. But something told me otherwise and I soon realized that he was quite harmless, even friendly. So we started chatting.

He was very interested in photography and asked about the types of photos I like to take and if I’d ever been published. When I told him I hadn’t, he was certain that someday I would be and that he’d keep me in his prayers. He said he was a Baptist Chickasaw-Choctaw (I believe) from Oklahoma.

We continued talking for the rest of the trip downtown. He seemed to be very warm-hearted with an infectious laugh and smile. So I asked him if I could take his picture, and he happily obliged. But then, when I pointed my camera at him, the big endearing smile disappeared and was replaced by this almost Mona Lisa-like smirk.

After asking where we were going to dinner and I told him we hadn’t decided yet, he said something quite romantic, “McDonald’s or McCormick’s, it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re with the right person.” It’s unexpected moments like this that make me love photography even more.

1 response

  • Michael Ammel

    Michael Ammel said (29 Jul 2011):

    great portrait, very special moment in between "I keep the distance and I trust you"

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