I'm having a discussion about someone who has complained that my Flickr account is full of things, and not people.
I'm honest about it: I am a magnet for angry, offended people who don't like to be photographed. There can be 10 people taking pictures, but the angry and bitter people will instantly stomp over to me and harangue me about not asking permission (even though we are in a public place). If I try to photograph three guys in harnesses, ass-less chaps, and leather jocks at MAL, they'll hiss and push me around. The moment a handsome guy in leather, or a photographer from Metro Weekly shows up, they are posing and happy. I can be outside a Metro station, I can be in a shopping mall, I can be on the street, I can be at a barbecue festival -- it doesn't matter. If I even point my camera at someone, I get snarls, pointed at, and approached and told to stop.
I have learned my lesson. Photographing people is incredibly unpleasant for me. I don't even try any more. If you see photos of people on my Flickr site, it's because a) it was a parade, or b) it was surreptitious.
And to think: When I started out as a photographer, I desperately wanted to photograph people. I wanted to do gay male nude photography. I wanted to see men, smiling and happy, in forests and at beaches and laying on the grass and playing games. That was what I wanted my photography to be about.
I visit the grave of that dream often enough.