From the Archive: Great Wall Portrait

One of the 7.53 billion. © www.thomaspickard.com

One of the 7.53 billion. © www.thomaspickard.com

I rarely pay for portraits of people I meet in my travels. Instead, I use persuasion.

In some instances, all that is needed is a simple hello and a request for a quick photo. If the answer is “okay”, then I take a few frames in less than a minute.

Sometimes people say “no” and I respect that. You have too. To do otherwise is to show someone how rude you can be, all in the name of getting a photograph. It isn’t the type of encounter I want when travelling abroad.

I met this man while exploring part of the Great Wall in China. He was selling some souvenirs and I knew immediately that I wanted to take his portrait. The lines in his face, the green hat with the red star…

Given the hard sell he was doing on everyone walking past, I knew I would have to pay. Instead of buying a souvenir, I purchased the opportunity to take this portrait.