Grabbing a short timeout during a family holiday I wandered down to Los Cristianos beach to see who I could find. Almost immediately I happened across a large group of people playing petanque. Straight away I was drawn to one game in particular and the first person that I watched playing was Margaret – she and another lady were taking their shots. The game appeared to be quite competitive but the spirit was great – every shot no matter who the outcome favoured was met favourably and the atmosphere was extremely good natured. Quite early on I decided that I was going to ask Margaret to be part of my project so I started thinking how to go about it without intruding. The only way I could achieve that though was to wait until they were finished but thankfully the red team were close to the requisite number of points and after a couple of ends they needed 2 and took 3 – much shaking of hands ensued … time to spring into action!
Margaret was reluctant to say the least and even suggested a couple of other people that I might like to ask instead but she relented whilst I was trying to tactfully explain that that is not how the project works and having made my initial approach Margaret was the only person that I was interested in photographing. A much larger problem existed though as I suddenly realised that they were in fact not finished – they were in the middle of a match and the handshaking only marked the end of a game – and even worse, Margaret would be the first to play.
It was eventually agreed that Margaret would take her shots and then I could take mine. From here on things got a bit easier as I had already decided how I would like to position Margaret and she made it very easy by asking and also by offering to take her glasses and hat off so I took a few shots with her glasses on and off. At one point Margaret commented on the camera looking very professional but after I’d taken a few shots she commented that I must have enough by now unless the camera was broken 😉 I was obviously pushing my luck again!
Unfortunately I didn’t really speak to Margaret much, learning only that she is retired and on holiday in Tenerife – the rest of the time was taken up with me providing Flickr details to Margaret because I had stupidly set off without my cards.
Margaret’s turn to play came around again and that was pretty much it so I retreated back to street level to watch for a short while. One of her friends then started talking to me so I walked down to the pitch again and he told me a lot about the game in terms of the types of players and balls but as this information didn’t come from Margaret I won’t include it other than to say that I learned that Margaret is a pointer rather than a shooter.
I was clearly overstaying my welcome by now so when I got a chance at the end of the current end I thanked Margaret properly and left her to enjoy her game without me constantly hovering.
Margaret thank you very much for taking part in my project and I sincerely apologise for the intrusion – I tried to time it to not be a nuisance but clearly I misjudged it.
Please feel free to provide constructive critique on the technical aspects of this photograph.
This picture is #80 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page