Thursday, April 06, 2006

Photographing Buskers

This is a repost of a blog entry I first made on Friday, July 01, 2005. Some small changes have been made

I love photographing buskers in my home town of Norwich. They present a wide range of musical competance and motives as to why they 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; it is 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 prefer to 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 MOST DEFINITELY NOT the people in this entry- 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 never interested in any attempt at objectivity; I want to be a participant.

Hare Krishna Mandolin Player

Another photo from Colonel Blink

1 comment:

Colin said...

Anyone who looks down their snout at buskers is completely souless and lacking... in my opinion.