I walked on Main Street with another photographer, Rob. Rob is a retired professional portrait photographer, trained at Brooks Institute. We must have been quite a sight. I am 6'1”, and carry my micro 4/3 camera on a wrist strap – wrist bling. Rob is several inches shorter and looked like a pack mule. He had a full frame camera with bazooka lens, tripod, strobes, and a bulging photovest filled with God-knows-what. I was about to learn some things that morning.
Across the street I saw a young family of three eating in the doorway of a restaurant. The inside was dark and the light popped them, so I excused myself, crossed the street, and made my move. The three were at a fairly long table with Mom and Dad at the ends, and junior in the middle. Usually when I explain the project to two adults, I make eye contact with each, alternately. But Dan and Oana were so far apart that I did my male chauvinist pig thing and addressed Dan. While I spoke, he had a look of puzzled amusement. Finally he said, “No. No, I thank you.” He had a European accent that I did not recognize. I thanked him, wished them a good day, and moved on.
I spoke with Rob about 40 yards away when Dan quickly approached and asked me to repeat the request. I did so and showed him my cell phone with Flickr Photostream. He smiled and said “That's OK,” and we walked back to his table. They are from Romania, and visiting Florida for a few months.
When I asked to photograph David (the child), he said sure. Like most kids, David was squirming all over the place. I got a few bursts, and only the very last frame was usable.