Friday, May 20, 2016

1 in 12, Guanabacoa, Cuba, 2015


A few friends, mostly photographers, have shared with me their view that going past 'the shot' goes against their gut instinct, paraphrased here for the sake of summarizing the collective. This opinion is to be respected in my humble opinion, but so is the possibility that the 'subject' has much more to say.

In this example, where perhaps should we have stopped?

My sincere belief is that such a spirit deserves the entire space of a medium-format roll in order to tell a segment of her story. The fact is that the entire morning was reserved specifically for her and her alone. Unlike my work in India when an entire class of young girls need to be photographed during one session, my work in Cuba allows the individuals to take the stage on their own.

This young dancer, known to most of us here, can stand her own in front of the lens for more than an hour. The fact is that it is the photographer who needs a break to reload, rather than her. Each roll tells a different chapter of her story for the day.

During our session on this day, we parked the car and walked the neighborhood at least half an hour before the sun was seen. We found four locations, and asked the families of the homes for their blessings. All agreed thanks to Alejandro's connections in this village.

So we walked from one spot to another, and she took on a different personality with each location. It was a marvel to watch, and an honor to document. As another dear friend told me once regarding the compromise between the priceless artifact and its purchase price, 'they're still printing money.'


Note: These exposures were made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/100 mm lens scanned through the negative sleeves for proofing only.