Coconut Seller

Coconut Seller


Fort Cochi market area is packed with small businesses selling all manner of supplies. Apart from the coconuts themselves and the palm leaves seen in the background, I’m not sure what else this man was selling, but he does have a great sense of colour.

So many residents make a living from their small shops and workshops, it would be a crime to see multinational supermarkets wade in to put all these people out of work like they have in the rest of the world. Tesco Keep Out……



11 thoughts on “Coconut Seller

  1. On a different tack …..
    I presume you ask your subjects if you can take their portraits? I’ve never really been brave enough (!) and just wondered how you go about it, what sort of reaction you get and how you manage to keep your cool enough to get a decent photo!
    On the rare occasions I’ve tried I tend to rush embarrassedly into it and get very unsatisfying results for all concerned. Any help much appreciated!

    • Hmmm, no easy answer to that Noeline. There’s a difference, in my head at least, when I photograph in India. A foreigner wading in might be excused because he doesn’t understand the social mores of the place….in fact this was said to me on an Indian railway train when I photographed some itinerant singers making their way through the train. They were livid and I still don’t know why. Fortunately the other passengers came to my defence saying ‘he doesn’t understand, leave him alone’. More recently I always ask and I came to discover that the sideways bobble of the head doesn’t just mean ‘not sure’ or ‘maybe’, but it means yes, o.k. Of the series posted so far, only the two youngsters in the laundry were not asked, because they were too far away, but you can see by their expression that they didn’t object.
      Since returning home I have had the courage to go up to shop workers and asked them straight out, ‘do you mind if I take your photo’, and mostly they say yes. Now this is in SW Scotland which is generally a friendly community. Quite what response I’d get in London or Glasgow I’m not sure. Keeping cool is another matter because like you I am tempted to rush the shot because I feel out of my comfort zone, though I do try to take several shots which increases the chances of getting it right. Finally, I always show them the picture and very rarely have the presence of mind to offer to email them the photo. What I should do perhaps is to get some contact cards done with my email or blog address on it.
      Regards, John.

      • Thank you very much … it seems I need a few ‘brave’ pills!
        Having contact cards is a good idea as not everyone likes to be free with their e-mails anyway.
        I don’t think I’ve said recently but your portraits are great – as you can tell, they’re inspiring me to be tempted to get out there and try my hand!

  2. If you don’t mind my stepping into the conversation, John and Noeline, I made some contact cards with “” here in the US…they do work wonderfully…and, so far, they have softened harsh words and glares when I’ve stepped too far onto someone’s property to snatch a few images of something that I thought was rather compelling…. If you remember my post “Portrait of a Man,” I also gave one to that gentleman in the hopes that he might stop by for a visit. I believe our friend Gunta, at Movin’ On, also uses the cards when she snaps photos of people out on her Oregon, USA beaches…. They’re actually quite handy.

    And as far as your coconut-seller is concerned, he certainly does have a nice taste in colors. 🙂

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