Back when I first started taking pictures some 25 years ago I always wanted to take candid pictures of people, but after several years of shooting I only had three photo's to show for it, and one of those was a picture of my mother doing her bible studies in our living room. Every time I pointed my camera at someone, they'd freeze or tense up or someone would call out to me "are you a professional - what are you going to do with those shots?", not being used to seeing a serious looking camera pointed at them. But after getting back into photography after over a 15 year absence I saw many people had become much more relaxed over it, especially in a city like New York, because tourists and locals are walking around with some type of camera, shooting everyone and everything in sight. So on this day I decided to go into Central Park and try my hand one more time at getting candid's. I chose a different tactic and packed really light using my smallest camera bag and just 2 or 3 lenses for freedom of response, and shut out all other photographic subjects from my mind looking only to capture candid's.
I was just a wee bit apprehensive as I was devoting one of my extremely rare full days off (one that didn't require me to use part of it towards some time consuming household, medical or financial concern), and apply it to the only photographic pursuit I had ever been a total failure at during my old picture taking heyday. I was afraid I would waist the entire gorgeous day off looking for a bunch of nice shots, botch them all and end up at home in the evening with a CF card without one decent shot on it.
My butterflies lasted for about 45 seconds. Right as I entered the park from it's southeastern tip I walked down this strip of road and saw that it had artists all along it, painting people. This scene captured here was the best of the whole lot, as this particular ladies bright happy smile, and her artist canvas were angled in a position where I could capture both the brush strokes and her face together in very favorable lighting. As I was taking several pictures, her husband saw his wife become distracted, as my camera clicked away and, understandably he politely asked me to halt, which of course I did. I showed him the photo's I took of her, and would you believe he liked them so much, he actually asked me to take another one of her with him in it!
Once I successfully captured this first candid scene, I felt like a seal sliding down an ice covered slope and hitting the water with a huge splash. I forgot every apprehension I ever had. That one day changed my whole out look on candid's, and to this day if I take an entire day off to capture them, I never return home without at least one shot to add to my collection that makes me glad that when I left the house I took my camera and went hunting for people pictures. Success truly is 90% persistence.