Women enjoy William Wainwright reception

Since I was a child, I have seen the world as collections of stories. Strings of moments -sometimes words, sometimes pictures, or a delicious combination of both.

My relationship with words goes way back to my life in single digits, but my attempts at capturing story in photos is more recent. I’ve been shy. Not for lack of access, inspiration, or role models, but for ways to merge my desire for politeness and conscientiousness with my wish to remain true to my artistic eye.

On numerous occasions during my teen years, I remember driving past a scene on the side of the road that really struck me as one deserving to be recorded -maybe a mother and child waiting for a ride with filled shopping cart. I’d pause the moment, a photograph in my mind. How beautiful their faces, expressions open or closed, expectant. But even if I had the opportunity, I could never intrude.

I owe my renewed interest in photography to my job, where I have served in this role partly because there is no one else. Thousands of shutter presses later, I’m no less reluctant to get personal with my subjects. I tend to sneak around, hunting candid shots, which I usually snap from a safe distance. In most circumstances I ask permission, though at large work events I often don’t. And it’s those occasions when I feel most free to see what I see.

If you are in the habit of taking photos, what’s your approach to the complex question of consent, spontaneity, and art?