Each January crowds of people visit Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo for “hatsumode” – first prayers of the year. I took these portraits right in front of the main shrine. Some people bent their heads for seconds, some for minutes. I was hard not to imagine what people were praying for. Perhaps for a better year in 2012?
This is about as intimate (you might say voyeuristic) set of street photos as I have tried. I used a 70-200 zoom to get in as close as possible. I was only standing a couple of meters away for most of the photos but the crowds made it very easy to go unnoticed.
Incidentally, given the huge number of visitors, I was expecting to have to queue for ages to get to the shrine. And I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to stay at the front long enough to take photos. In the event, I was at the front almost immediately and was able to do my thing without any bother at all. Thanks Tokyo police.