A Smiling Navajo Lady


This smiling, happy lady was selling Navajo jewellery, pottery and t-shirts at the Four Corners in the USA. This is a point in the desert where the boundary of four American states meet – Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. The exact place is marked by a plaque and it’s possible to stand in each state in turn, just by moving your feet.

Surrounding it are purpose-built small retail stalls where members of the Navajo Indian tribes sell traditional, hand-crafted wares. Mindful of asking permission to take photographs, I was struck by the infectious laughter and  beaming smile of this lady. She was happy for me to take this photo, she wanted to chat, and of course I bought something – I was intending to anyway before the possibility of a photo arose.

I’m always wary of openly taking photographs of anyone I don’t know without their permission, especially of people who may not be keen to have their image transferred to a camera. It seems right to treat others with respect. I’d clearly be a no-hoper as a member of the paparazzi!

Street photography is another matter – spotting and capturing the opportune moment is an art form, as perfected by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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