Yesterday I was out taking photographs of people (mostly couples, but that’s needless to say right?) celebrating the Valentine’s Day. Despite the ongoing fear of political violence that erupts every now and then in literally everywhere in the city, people were out celebrating. Some people went out with their friends, some with their family members, and others were with their loved ones.
It’s a common scene in Dhaka that every time there is an occasion, people flood the street. It makes me think we do know how to celebrate! All we need is an occasion.
As some of you probably know already, I’m very passionate about photographing people but I never photographed public celebration of occasions. At first I was pretty shook up because it’s really difficult to shoot when there is a huge crowd all around you. Experienced eyes manage to get something amazing out of everywhere, but I’m newbie to this.
However, the afternoon turned out to be great. A friend of mine tagged along with me so I had fun while shooting as I got to talk. Also, when photographing in streets, the most notable fear of every beginner photographer is to ask people to photograph. Since I’m interested in shooting portrait, I have to master that skill, too. But it’s what I’m most afraid of.
Yesterday will be memorable because that’s when I first walked up to people and asked them for permission if I could shoot. As it was a celebration and everyone was wearing colorful dresses, I wasn’t turned down. There will be time when I will get turned out, in fact, more often than not I will be turned down. But it’s just an encouraging experience not to be declined when I asked for permission on my first public photoshoot.
There may be a debate on whether it’s good to ask for permission because that way you risk losing that precious candid moment, but in the streets of Dhaka, you can’t argue with what’s good and what’s not. So it’s the best policy to ask for permission, especially if you’re shooting a couple or a lady.
As I said, this was my first photoshoot of a public celebration of an occasion, so I came home with not-so-extraordinary pictures. But I got a few that I like. Here they are (my most favorite is the top photo on this post, which is what I asked for permission later on).
Just in case you are interested, my regular portrait photography can be seen on my Flickr page and my Facebook page at AIS Pictures. To share my photojournalism-type photographs without flooding my Flickr portfolio, I created a separate Flickr account titled aisjournal where you can see more of my event coverage.
Photographs above can be used with a CC-BY-NC-SA license, which means you can use it on your site for non-commercial purpose but a credit back to this site must be given. The images are also available for licensing from Demotix.