This was one of those moments of serendipity I live for as a photographer, the combination of light, scene, and most importantly, being ready.
I had met some friends for a post-photowalk drink at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green — a lovely building inside and out — so my eye was already warmed up after a few hours of casual street shooting. We were just setting our bags down at the table, when I glanced behind me and saw this sharply-dressed older couple reading the Sunday paper, with some amazing diffused light. I had the Contax T2 in my hand already, as it had been dangling from my wrist all morning.
I couldn't believe my luck to have such a clean scene in front of me, and I remember being nervous as I brought the camera up to my eye, switched it on, and hoped to god I could hold it still enough to get a decently sharp exposure indoors with Portra 160 (I had only expected to shoot outside that day), and that I could frame and shoot quickly enough to not disturb their concentration.
Time slowed for a moment as I focused, reframed, held my breath, and pressed the shutter. I only took the one frame, knowing if it came out it would be one of my favourite exposures since I started shooting. If I didn't love the T2 before then (of course I did), this shot guaranteed its place in my bag from then on.