say yes

we were people-watching idly from the roof terrace of the esplanade, leaning with our elbows on the parapet and steadfastly ignoring the sign next to us that said not to. there was acoustic music wafting in from the outdoor theatre and the view was amazing: mbs on the left and the city skyline on the right. i was laughing with ruth with something when we saw a guy with a camera around his neck on the first floor looking up at us. he waved back when we did and lifted his camera to his eye. i fell into her shoulder and grinned whilst she threw her arms out while muttering ‘oh god are we really doing this fuck i’m posing i hate myself’- he took the camera down and threw us a thumbs-up, which we returned for want of anything more inspired.

i hope it turned out well, not necessarily aesthetically perfect, but just vibrant. something real and unrestrained about it. there’s something i like about the idea of taking photos of strangers- chancing upon people who are obviously enjoying the moment and each other, and instead of shunning you, turn to welcome you into their joy without question. happiness makes you generous, i think. it reminds me of that day in oxford last year when my brother was showing us around the gardens he walked through to get to class every day. i was taking photos of my brother and sister on a bridge arched proudly over a river, trying to get them to make goofy faces at me when a punt came along and a woman on it shouted a greeting at us. I laughed and offered to snap a picture for them which they promptly posed for- four or five people, accompanied by a bottle or two of liquor, chorusing thank-yous as they drifted away not entirely of their own volition.

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