While walking on a spring day in the French Quarter of New Orleans, I happened upon the doorway at 1319 Rue Decatur. It appeared, like many doorways in the Quarter, to be a passage back to a different time as much as a passage into a person’s present home.

I pulled out my iPhone and opened the camera, and started framing the shot. I took one image, when suddenly a man walked in front of me.

People frequently walk between you and the subject you are photographing. Normally, when they realize they are in the photo, they jump out apologetically, or turn their face away from the camera and act like nothing has happened.

The man who walked in front of me on this particular day immediately took an interest in what I was doing, and facing me as I held the phone up, began questioning me about photography in general, and specific photographers he liked. He asked me if I had seen certain exhibitions at museums, or if I subscribed to a number of magazines that often contained good photography. All the while, he would point and gesture. I simply kept taking photos. After a few minutes, he just stopped, said “Nice talking to ya,” and walked away.

I fired off one more shot of the empty doorway, and continued my walk.