Selected as Book of the Week by Christopher J Johnson
You tell me that “it’s a crazy thing, the power you have when you’re a photographer, you can capture a moment and you own that moment, you can tell someone to look you in the eyes, to take off their dress, to cross their legs”.
I ask you what it means to “be a photographer” and you tell me that that’s what it’s about, to “get the power”.
I try to capture you but you slip away I can’t seem to catch you, I tell you “no” it’s not that, that’s not you.
You explain to me that one should never say such a thing, never say “no” when you are looking for a way to shoot a real photo.
You explain to me that it’s work, that sometimes you just don’t have to say anything, that it’s there, at times you have to say “it’s alright”, “yes, like that” but “no” is impossible, don’t say it when you’re trying to catch the moment.
You’re sitting down, you’re telling me about these pictures, about kids they sell in Africa, about you arriving there and four guys who came to collect you from the plane, about two guys who took you to a marketplace, how you quickly, quickly had to take pictures, capture the look of this kid they were selling, quickly.
You tell me that at times you don’t even know why you do it but at the same time you wouldn’t know what else to do.
You tell me that in Russia you could only photographs closed doors.
You tell me that in China you’ve slept in a boys school that lied in the very heart of the mountains, you’ve taken their photos, they’ve taken yours.
You tell me that you were strangers who grew familiar with one another like that.
You tell me that it was like some kind of meditation, to cut yourself loose from all things, to be in the silent mountains. You tell me that in three weeks you’re leaving but I don’t understand where to.
You tell me that you’re up and down, that everything breaks and that you know you’re the one to blame.
I tell you that I know, that I’m also like that.
You tell me: I met an old lady with red hair, she’s pretty, I’ve taken her photo at night, it was magnificent.
You tell me that you would like to capture the intimacy of people.