Yesterday, the weather was really warm so I decided to spend an afternoon in Asheville, NC. There’s always something to see there. It’s pretty much a “hippy” town. There are even a couple of head shops there were you can buy all manner of bong, er, I mean tobacco humidifiers. There are also street musicians on quite a few corners. As I was walking, I noticed this guy. He had just finishing setting up and was blowing a few notes, getting ready for his evening. I stopped to take a couple of shots and then kept walking. As I walked away:
Trumpet man: Hey, man! Aren’t you going to pay me for that?
Me: Pay you for what?
Trumpet man: For taking my picture. You should give me a tip or something.
Me: Nope. I’m not going to pay you for your picture. If I come back and listen to you play, I’d be happy to tip.
Trumpet man: C’mon man. Everybody pays me when they take my picture. The least that you could do is buy my CD. It’s got 10 original songs on it!
Me: If I come back by here, I’ll tip you.
Trumpet man: Man! That’s just wrong!
What else could I say. I’d said my piece. I don’t like to try to be guilted into “tipping”, especially just because I have a camera in my hand. Anyway, an hour or so later, I went back by there, fully intending to sit a spell, take a few more photos in the full dark, and give him a tip if I liked his music, but apparently the corner wasn’t working for him; he’d moved on elsewhere. I could appreciate what he was trying to do but he would have gotten more ground with me had he not said anything. I used to tip musicians in Charleston quite frequently, though they never asked. They’d just smile if I pointed the camera their way.
Oh well, que sera, sera! Do you pay on demand if you take photos of street performers?