When I worked in London, I’d often take a detour across Westminster Bridge on my way home. Except in winter, there would still be enough daylight to take photos.
I came across this couple one April evening. I expect they’d come from north London, to relax and take in the sights. As an orthodox Jewish wife, the lady had on a wig. Only her husband would have been allowed to see her natural hair.
Having spotted the couple, I knew I wanted to take their picture. Amongst the tourists and commuters, they seemed exotic in their formal black clothes. But I had to think quickly – whether to photograph them from in front or behind. In general, I don’t like confrontation. If the lady’s hair was covered out of modesty, who was I to brandish a camera in her face? Call me a coward if you like, but a rear view felt more respectful.
So much for photo etiquette – what about the picture itself? It wasn’t taken as a portrait. I wanted a graphic illustration, showing the formality and blackness of the couple’s outfits. For that, there was no need to show faces. And as a bonus, I feel that photos taken from behind leave something to the imagination. What do you think? Do you like rear views or do they leave you feeling cheated?