Arman Ayva is an amateur photographer who is driven by a desire to capture the moment. As he explains in his bio, “the sensation that the moment is gone and will never repeat, but you can still go back in time looking at your pics and live it again, is incredible.”

To see more from Arman, give his 500px account a follow or visit his blog. This post originally appeared on Arman’s blog, and is being republished here with express permission.

I want to share with you an interesting story that may inspire you to do some spontaneous photography and have that wonderful feeling of being an undivided participant in your photography—being a part of the very same story you created with your camera.

I’ve always had the desire to capture my city, Montreal, from a “bird’s eye view,” which I think is cool and kind of gives the viewer the feeling of flight.

One day, I was wondering how to get to the roof of high buildings in Montreal when I shared my thoughts with my wife. She offered the idea of visiting rooftop terrace restaurants and combining the pleasure of having a good time together with the pleasure of taking good pictures. I liked the idea, and we decided to start with Terrasse Place D’Armes.

Saturday night. Around 7:30 pm. Sunset.

We got to the restaurant and were lucky enough to get the best table in the corner, with a view of The Place d’Armes Square and Rue Saint-Jacques.

Since it was windy, there were not many people out there. Two couples on the left, some people near the bar, a couple on the far right, and two gentlemen siting at the closest right table. I will come back to them later.

The view was wonderful considering the warm sunset light and a bit cloudy sky reflecting the sunlight in different colors. I had taken couple of pictures before our drinks were served.

A couple of minutes later I got bored, I promise I wouldn’t have been bored if we hadn’t gone there on a photography mission. I asked my wife, “do you think they will kick us out if they see me taking pictures of people around?” and she said “It is possible…”

Let me tell you that I am a shy person and speaking to strangers and getting the first contact isn’t my strong suit, but because I was excited and I was on mission I felt no shame.

Here comes the interesting part. As I said there were two gentlemen sitting at our nearest right table. They were facing the sun and their faces were lit perfectly. I needed to take a shot. The first thing I did was a paparazzi shot, pretending that I was photographing my wife. No good. I said “what the hell,” and the next moment I was near their table talking to them.

These were my exact words: “Hey guys! Look, I am a photographer. The sunlight is so perfectly lighting your faces, so I couldn’t resist. Will it be okay if I take a couple of shots. Just keep acting naturally.” Honestly, I was expecting rejection, or a least hesitation, but the answer was, “No problem. Go ahead!”

In about 30 minutes I went from an urban and cityscape photographer, to a street photographer, and then ended up a portrait photographer. I felt like a professional photographer having a photo session with them.

I took about 50 shots, I would have done more, but I didn’t want to intimidate them :). I had good 5-6 cool contacts by the end. They were very kind people. I send them pictures later via email and asked their permission to post some of the pictures publicly. By the end I would like to thank you, my new friends.

I really consider this experience “spontaneous photography”—truly live photography where I and even my wife were a part of it. I hope you can feel our presence when you look at the pictures.