The story behind – challenged by human fate

A very common part of documentary photography is street photography to feature candid situations in public places. It could be prepared to catch a defined situation or determined by chance. Sometimes you will meet both. At any time: be prepared!
Nikon D50, f10 @ 1/125sec, ISO 200
That´s the story from Ken Piros:
Photography in the inner city presents a lot of challenges and not just light, aperture and shutter speed. The most challenging situations you run into are the homeless and poor wanting handouts.
You are going to hear a lot of stories, very convincing stories, some will be true, others not. Can you turn your back on them? If you are a compassionate person you are going to try and help some of the people with the most believable stories.
You will be taken advantage of but you can’t let that harden your heart or you will miss that person that really needs a hand up.
I recently started a photo series called “Inner City Religion” where I went out in the early morning hours to photograph some store front churches. I passed one up with a man standing in front of it that I thought could make a nice addition to the series. I turned around and parked my car in a grocery stores parking lot directly across the street. Grabbing my camera I started to set my camera setting for the light reading and proper shutter speed when suddenly a woman appeared at my window. She asked if I could spare some money so she could go inside the store and buy something to eat. Faced with another situation where I have to quickly decide is she telling the truth about the food or does she just want money to buy some Mad Dog 20/20 ( cheap wine ). I handed her a five dollar bill and a small booklet containing the Gospel of John. She thanked me and then left.
I went back to my camera setting when she suddenly re-appeared at my window asking me if the booklet was about Jesus? I said it was. She grabbed my hand in both of hers and kissed the back of my hand thanking me again. After I got my pictures and was preparing to leave I saw the woman leaving the grocery store with a donut and a cup of coffee.
Sometimes you get taken but those times when you don’t make it all worthwhile. There are a lot of images of the homeless and beggars posted on this website and plenty of compassionate comments; I guess that we all have a decision to make.
Do you have a photo with an untold story behind?
Let me know! Send your story and the link to the picture to Matthias Moritz. Your story may be the next published at!

Register now or log in to write comments.

Comments are closed.