Sometimes One Needs an Ally
I had just photographed this house in Cherry Valley, a neighboring town of ours in Central NY. I stood on the sidewalk wondering about it. A young man and his daughter came out of a nearby house and I asked him if anybody lived there, pointing to the house I had just photographed. He said, “It belongs to an old man who is blind — hence its condition.” Then the young man asked if I had met so and so or if I knew her, pointing to the museum. “She knows all the history of Cherry Valley.”

“I am not interested in history, I am looking for faces.” I replied.

I had already asked him if I could photograph him with his daughter who was quite wonderful looking but he had said, “No, I don't think so, thank you.”

I gave him my card and said, ”You can see what I do on my website. 

If you change your mind let me know.”

I have not heard from him.

This reminded me of a similar situation when I came across a mother and daughter in Newburgh, NY. The daughter was probably 13 or 14 years old and I asked her mother if I could photograph them. She also said "no." But on this occasion a mutual friend who had heard the conversation stepped in. He said. “Let him photograph you, he's fine.” And she did. 

Have an ally at your side, just in case.