A couple of years a go I attended a lecture by the seminal photographer Steve McCurry. He's the one that took the famous picture of the Afghan girl with the 'eyes'. To be honest the lecture was pretty dull - a sort of death by power point and greatest hits mixed together - but he did impart some advice that stuck with me; always have a recurrent theme. His was to photograph people sleeping in public ( whatever floats your boat I suppose...) and mine has ,by accident rather than design, been of people smoking. Rather than enter moral or medical arguments about the habit ( for the record I only smoke when I’m rubbed hard enough...), for me it offers a unique window in to the person and their life.
The broad spectrum of people is fascinating; from the cinematic cool looking youngsters to the older generations displaying its long term effects. The lack of public indoor smoking options means it's a great theme for street photography.
Huddled in shop doorways and shelters, the scenes can have a sense of street theatre to them; some dispossessed, rejected by the non smoking world feel to them, others ganged together, laughing and enjoying their nicotine fuelled time together.
Either way, I’m sticking to Steve McCurry’s advice and carrying on my theme, but avoiding people sleeping in public...for now.
Till next time...