Sitting in a wheelchair donated by www.freewheelchair.org, and with the lovely overcast sky giving the right lighting needed, I was drawn to photograph Nanang Maria of Brgy. San Pascual, Tuba, Benguet. She temporarily borrowed the wheelchair though since she just came from the hospital for pulmonary problems and is hard up in walking because she can be easily exhausted.
She was a bit wary at the start, but when I talked to her in Ilocano, she smiled back at me, which was a signal for me to work with her. Since then, she was very cooperative when I directed her to do some poses. I thought I could not make her do some simple poses for me like looking at the window. The angle was mine and had to squat and move around, for she would not comprehend "the degrees" if I tell her so.
Yes, this is a staged photo, and why shouldn't it be? I do not want to be pretentious that it was candid, lest I want to draw some criticisms with this one.
For these types of photos, I love old women looking pensive with their facial lines defined by available light. But do not get me wrong. I love old people smiling. And, yes, I did manage to take some photos where she is smiled in front of my camera. I promised to have her smiling photo and send it to her. She even giggled at her image in my camera LCD when I showed it to her.
- Establish rapport with your subject
- For older subjects, work fast since their patience and attention span are short (just like children), and they easily get tired.
- Fulfill your promises to old people.
Now, I have to fulfill that promise. And this reminds me to take a photo of my aging aunts as well before they leave us.