I was walking along Robson St and along this main shopping street in downtown Vancouver lies licensed street vendors ranging from artists that offer to draw a portrait of you to jewelry merchants. Of course there are also the unlicensed street vendors, mainly the homeless begging for money or others who sell knick knacks they find while living on the street. During this one fine autumn day, I saw an elderly man selling little toys, figurines and a birthday hat. People were walking past him with some giving the toys a quick judgmental glance until a young lady stopped and something from the man’s toy selection caught her eye. She gave him a friendly hello and started engaging with the man. His eyes suddenly beamed with delight that someone actually stopped, acknowledged him and was interested in what he was selling. She asked about each toy and he gladly explained to her what the item was and where he found it. They were both thoroughly enjoying each other’s company and interaction. After a few minutes, she bought one toy, said their goodbyes and she was on her way.
One reason why I love street photography are moments like this, where good, honest, real human emotions are present and not contrived or posed. Moments that are meant to be observed without interaction or interference. There was a part of me that wanted to approach them and offered to take a portrait of the two of them. Maybe it would’ve been a good idea to hear their stories and hopefully they’ll have a photo to remember the moment. But I quickly realized that this was their moment to not be ruined by some third party, a moment where they can share with their friends without ending their story with “… and some guy came in and took our photo.”
Seen in… Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver
Seen in… Gastown district, Vancouver