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Shoe Shine Boys

By philipr  
This is a shot I took yesterday of some of the (many) shoe shine boys that tout for business in la paz. They wear teh ski masks and balaclavas so they cant be recognised as it is a social stigma thing to be a shoe shiner. They can look quite intimidating at first (they range from 5 years old to 60 years old so they are not all small) but if you stop and have your shoes shined for a few pence and chat with them you find out most are friendly harding workign lads just tryng to scrape a living. These guys asked me to take their photo (i knew they would ask for money afterwards - who can blame them) I took a few and it attracted quite a crowd. When I gave them a little money all the locals started asking if Id take their photo! I had to escape.
I think this works well in BW.

Tags: Photo journalism Bolivia La paz Landscape and travel

Voters: ambmilan, SamGillespie, Slaterm and 7 more



SamGillespie 16 94 1 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2006 6:36PM
Works very well in B&W. Glad you escaped!
Beardy 17 79 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2006 6:50PM
looks good in B+W, reminds me of some kids like that in certain africa states, but they have AK-47s......
Malc_V 17 England
12 Jul 2006 7:57PM
Excellent image and a superb description.

Sabreur 17 767 England
19 Sep 2006 9:34PM

I like the capture of these two characters, and the B&W treatment is very effective.

If I had to make any criticism, it would be that you have just cut off the knee of the lad on the left.

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