I want to be like Awais because I feel like I’m pretty good with a smile and asking if I can take their photo. I try to do it in a complementary way, genuinely, because I often want to take their photo because I like the way they look.
It works pretty well for me at places like ComicCon or Maker Faire because people are proud of how they look and it shows in the photos. They offer up dramatic poses. I often do it for guests at a wedding or event because they light up in the moment you ask them to put their arms around each other or get close.
Where I don’t seem to get much success is under the circumstances Paul shoots in. I usually don’t speak their language and I don’t prefer the looks they give me on camera. With Awais in Pakistan I wonder if he’s successful at it because he’s so nice or it’s a cultural thing and people feel comfortable around him.
So I do what Paul does and snipe with my long lens. I like that the expressions are so candid. But honestly, every time I see either of your photos, I admire them more than my own, so I should be quiet and focus on how you do it.