I am a terrible photographer. I realized while in Burma that I fail in picture-taking for the same reasons I failed at journalism. I hate invading people’s privacy. I can’t just whip up a camera and snap the face of a stranger with interesting sandalwood make-up or particularly beautiful eyes.
My oh-so-subtle approaches lead to photos like this one, of an old woman with a huge cheroot, taken the moment after she turns away.
Or this one, of the woman with the bundle on her head, who’s too far away to clearly see.
I’ve decided to consider this sensitivity to privacy as an asset to a novelist, who must spend hours carefully recreating the details of fictional minds.
But that’s just my way of making myself feel better about my lack of a future in photojournalism.