Yes, “I’m Walkin’ Here!” is a vernacular photography category, a category I don’t actually persue. There are simply so many of these images available that I usually just go right past them in the boxes at the antique store. Once in a while I do buy them if what’s going on in the background is interesting or the reaction of those being photographed draws me in.

Click on image to see it larger.

These sort of shots were taken by wandering photographers, sort of like the type you find as you come off a gangplank on a cruise ship. The difference is that you expect the ones on the cruise ship, not the ones in the middle of the sidewalk who leap out at you.

What I really wonder about is what percentage of people who were photographed actually showed up to buy the shots? And what sort of mishaps did the photographers have to deal with? I’m guessing there are some interesting stories to be told.

Probably one of the most famous couples walking down the street are Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo from the movie Midnight Cowboy. Did any photographer ever have an encounter with someone like Ratso? You couldn't pay me enough to do that job.


  1. When I first arrived in London, initially only a tourist, I encountered a wandering photographer outside Buckingham Palace who offered to take my photograph. I was so flattered, naively thinking he just liked my jaunty hat, that I said, "why of course!". I was so startled when he asked for money, I claimed to be a poor musician, (which I was), and talked him down to half price. I'm still waiting for that photo. Never wore the hat after that.

    1. Forgive me for laughing, but that is so funny!