I don’t usually take photos of strangers without asking them for permission and it’s not my style to take snapshots, or to hide behind a 200mm lens on the other side of the street. When I take photos of strangers I approach them and talk to them: I want to remember who they really are. I want to know their story. That’s everything when taking a portrait. Otherwise, it would mean just to have a collection of strangers’ faces. But in talking to them, I get to discover more about them and ultimately about myself. I think and live in the belief that we are who we are because of our story, because of the journey we did so far. But the journey itself is nothing if not shared with others. It might sound a little bit cliché, or a lot in the “into the wild” style, but cinema is based on cliché for a reason, and that reason is that clichés are true.
In this case thou, I didn’t talk to my subjects, for obvious reasons. They couldn’t move, and I thought it was a nice twist to how it usually works. In any case, I made sure that my presence there was really obvious, and so my intention. I shot with a 50mm and I was pretty close. I wanted to make sure they knew I wasn’t just a tourist, stealing their face. I took the time to do some test shots, and I stood in front of them for a while. I thought it would have been challenging for them. Would they be proud, annoyed, curious or nervous?