This photograph was made several years ago by my son Scott. The scene was the Halloween celebration in West Hollywood where there were over 500,000 people in the streets and in costume.

Scott saw this “angel” walking and he waited until she was passing by a lighted store window to make the exposure because that was the only light available at that very late hour. I developed the film for him and made a print.

When Scott saw the print, he told me that there was no halo over the head of the angel when he made the photo. A big mystery ensued, until we visited the store and saw that a round light fixture on the ceiling was broken and hanging down. Mystery solved. The light fixture was the halo that appeared above the head of Scott’s angel.

Photography is magic. What are the chances for that halo to appear in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, to exactly the right person in exactly the right costume to walk by?

This entry was posted in Social Documentary/Street Photography, The Human Condition.


  1. Gary Cason September 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    Psychologist Carl Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to describe the experience of two or more unrelated events happening together in a manner that is meaningful. Some believe this is beyond the ego and in the divine realm. An interesting idea considering the subject matter of this photograph.

    • Paul's Pictures September 25, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Yes that’s a good point. i often feel that in my work…

  2. -k- September 12, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    I think the element of magic enters the photographic experience only when there is the conscious decision to actively seek out the magic and to have it come into existence with the taking of the photograph.

  3. Piotrek Ziolkowski September 7, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Magic indeed. This is one of these photos that benefit from a caption or paragraph.

  4. Rich Owen August 21, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    “Right place, right time” really fits this shot. I am been fortunate to capture some images that, upon looking at the analog or digital image, there is something that I see and I wonder how I could be so lucky.

    Love your work, John, and thanks for the inspiration!!!

  5. David August 12, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    John –

    I came across your work on you-tube several weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I like your approach to photography and I certainly like your work. As I sort through all the potential options I’d like to pursue as a aspiring photographer – I am more drawn to street photography more than ever because of folks like you, Cartier-Bresson, Eric Kim and the like.

    Keep up the good work, and if ever I can afford to take a workshop, I will.


  6. Georg August 7, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Photography is Magic, thanks for Sharing this wonderful print, John!

  7. Paul's Pictures August 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    magic indeed!! The mystery to me is that it happens so often, and it’s almost as if we see those little things on some unconscious level and they become part of the “why” we make the photograph. It’s so nice when it happens, and just makes me want to keep doing it!
    thanks John

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