I love photographing buskers in my home town of Norwich. There is such a wide range of musical competance and motives why people busk.
Some see it as a branch of Show Business; the bottom rung perhaps but show business non the less. Others -fewer than some loudmouths would have you believe- see it as a semi-legal form of begging. Whatever the reasons street perfomers have an instant way of calculating their appeal; its measured out in pennies. It takes a lot of bravery to do what they do.
I have a number of self imposed rules about photographing buskers
1. I always give them some money first.
2. I then ask permission of them (so the act of giving me permission is not conditional on my giving them money.
3.I only photograph buskers Monday to Friday because weekday buskers do it for one reason and one reason only; the money.
4. The photograph must be the most 'positive' image of the busker that my small skill allows.
A very few buskers -by no means all and DEFINITELY NOT the guy photographed above- are very vulnerable and easily exploited. The decision to say 'no' to having a photograph being taken may be the only decision they are allowed to make that day. They have the right to keep their dignity and I feel I have a duty to preserve it. I am not interested in trying to be an objective observer; I want to be part of mankind.
My series of photographs of buskers may be found here.