It's something I always feel conflicted about--photographing people who don't know me and don't know they've been caught in a frame of mine.

Catching strangers like this never fails to remind me of a daydream that my mind replays evey so often. It goes like this: I move to a far-off place and start meeting new people and making friends. One of them has traveled to some of the places I've traveled to, maybe Vienna, Yellowstone, or LA. It doesn't matter where. This new acquaintence starts showing me their travel photos. Typical tourist snapshots of monuments, architecture, notable places. And then, shockingly, unbelievably, there I am. In a snapshot of the Washington Monument or the Trevi Fountain or near a pillar at Baalbek, I'm recognizably present; a stranger caught in the background of someone else's life.


  1. Love your dream; would make a great mystery novel. People photos: when it's possible, I always ask and only once or twice have people declined, but if it's a distance shot, I feel comfortable taking a photo.

  2. I kind of had that happen to me. I met a guy and later saw a picture of the 2 of us, sittting just a yard apart with our backs to each other, 2 years before we officially met. And I was ready to bet 100 bucks that I had never seen him before...

    If I write the book, will you supply the picture for the cover? ;)

  3. You called it a daydream: not a dream, not a nightmare, but a daydream. A light tossing over in one's mind of a pleasurable possibility.

    I do not have any qualms with the sort of shot you have here. The people are not recognisable.

    I am not sure that I agree with the PC notion that people own the rights to their own image.