Man waits for shoe repair in Thimphu, Bhutan


It’s an interesting connundrum when you do travel or photojournalistic-style photography. Your main goal is telling a story, and that might mean including quite a bit of information. In this picture, what caught my eye right away was the guy on the phone with one foot bare – and the story was he was waiting or his shoe to be repaired in the shop. I made this image ‘quickly’ before the moment changed, and then thought I might like to come in closer/frame it tighter. But if I did, I lost the shop sign, and that was part of the story. If I kept the sign, I’d be losing the guy’s feet, and they were part of the story, too. At 40mm on my lens, there wasn’t much I could do to improve on the image, and with the reflective foil wall inside the shop, I didn’t want to make that any larger by getting closer. In the end, this was the best way I could see to capture the moment, but it’s a complex picture because Bhutan is one colorful place with a lot of ‘stuff’ on their shop fronts. Though I love to simplify scenes when I travel, sometimes the story is in all the little details that make the picture work.