Happy Birthday Beautiful

Happy Birthday BeautifulHappy Birthday Beautiful Hosted on Zooomr

I’ve spent the past two afternoons shooting in San Francisco’s historic Mission District. Mission St., Valencia St., the entire district is full of so much beauty and color and especially rich culture.

Yesterday as I was walking up 19th Street towards Mission Street I passed this woman photographed above. Our eyes met and we exchanged smiles. At the same time it was something of an awkward moment. I’m not sure why but I felt this woman wanted to be photographed. So after we passed I turned around and asked her if I could take her portrait. She smiled and came up with this outrageous and beautiful pose.

Then after I snapped her picture she laughed and said tomorrow’s my birthday. I asked her how old she was going to be and she said 32. Happy Birthday early I said, she laughed again and said thanks. She had such a beautiful air and spirt about her.

Even this tiny bit of interaction is far more than I typically engage in when I’m out shooting the streets of San Francisco. But it felt good to feel this interaction with this woman yesterday and I hope whoever she is or whatever she is doing that her birthday today is a good one.

Most of my shots in the Mission the past few days have been of neon, murals, mannequins and graffiti. But I’ve also focused lots of the other cultural richness that makes the Mission District the Mission District. To see more of my shots from the Mission District you can check out this set, The Heart of the Mission, here.

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  1. That’s a great portrait, and a nice story.

    I have been tempted to start a project where I find people in my walks and ask to take their picture and interview them very briefly; who they are, what they do, etc.

    Then blog their stories and photos.

    I have not yet been brave enough to try.

  2. ToAsTy! says:

    Mike, the hardest part is to seem like your looking for something to photo yet try to draw someone into asking you to take their photo. There aren’t many that will straight out ask for a shot on your cam. It would be interesting though, like ‘Candid Moments with Mike’. Maybe at a function or at a bar would get more people but out in the street, it’s a rarity. Hell it’s rare enough to say anything to a stranger! even if they bump into you!

  3. Lacy says:

    what a wonderful thing for you to take the time to notice someone’s spirit! The image is incredible. Good job.