Portrait

Distillery district

I love pictures of people.

Although I have no problem in chatting with strangers, I’m much more self-conscious about asking them if I can take their picture. Most people actually don’t mind and are flattered when you ask but for some reason I often feel shy about asking. This saturday we went to the Distillery District and while sitting outside having a coffee, I couldn’t help noticing this older Chinese lady sitting beside us. She was colourful but what attracted me was the peaceful vibe she emanated. I finally broke down and before we left, I asked her if I could take her picture. She smiled shyly and mumbled something while pointing to the entrance of the restaurant. I guessed she was saying she didn’t speak English and her companion was inside buying the coffee. So I remembered the advice of a photographer when prompted how to ask to take someone’s picture when there’s a language barrier: I raised the camera to eye level and made a questioning look while smiling. She blushed slightly but sat up, very proud. I took the above picture and showed it to her. Her reaction warmed my heart: she gave a little excited shrill and gave me a big hug. Made my day.

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

4 thoughts on “Portrait”

  1. Algumas pessoas são mais abertas que outras. Na semana passada peguei o subway na Queen e tinha uma chinesinha se admirando na câmera do celular durante horas dentro do metrô. Nisso, um senhor canadense sentou-se no banco em frente ao dela e começou a esconder o rosto com as mãos. Ela olhou sem entender, no que ele perguntou “Is this a camera?”. Ela respondeu que sim, mas que a câmera estava mirando na direção dela, não da dele. Irritado, ele disse: “It’s not a good idea in the subway”. E ela continuou se admirando até chegar na Finch.

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