Heavy Rejection

For the fourth time this week I’m hitting the streets. At the beginning of the week it already crossed my mind once. The fear of rejection. As street photographers, we all know this. And we all know that the fear of rejection is greater than the actual rejection itself.

So far I have “felt” this twice on the street. The reason I say “felt” is because it wasn’t really a confrontation. The first time someone walked by and said he didn’t want to be in the picture. But just kept walking. The second time I could see it clearly from the person herself, who put a hand over her face. Even though these two rejections weren’t bad at all. Still, it did something to me at the time.

Today I had quite a confrontation and reaction but surprisingly I could handle this well.

I saw a garbage man empty a container into the truck. I cycled past and made the shot. I was aware that I was focusing a little longer on the action, this week I already had a few shots that were out of focus and I wanted to focus a bit longer. But also honestly with the easygoing attitude and not thinking about being invisible anymore. Perhaps this is because you do this all the time and usually without people noticing you. So overconfident, and that can give you a problem.

He shouted “You can’t just film“.

I just ignored it and continued cycling. Fortunately, the traffic light was green. Just thought let’s go and move on.

But then suddenly I heard the heavy sound of the truck speeding up.

Without looking, I knew they were going to approach me. I could now choose to go down the side street that I knew they couldn’t get into anyway. Or just face the situation and confront it. I chose the confrontation. When he drove next to me, he again said you can’t just film or take pictures.

I said I make photos of the street but I can delete the photo. He said I just don’t want to be on it. His driver stopped next to me. He opened the door and said he wanted me to throw the photo away. I showed it to him as we stood shoulder to shoulder. After I threw it away, they drove on again. When he came back next to me we gave a friendly thumb up. All good again.

So this was my first real rejection. And while this was really a confrontation, it didn’t make me feel bad. I could have entered into a discussion that I can just shoot on the street. But why would you. The best thing you can do is respect someone.

It was a good wake up call. Be aware not to get overconfident.

It didn’t discourage me from continuing today. However, I noticed that I was not completely focused anymore. Strangely enough, I was happy with this lesson. But I don’t want to have this too often!