Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2013
I continue to repeat to myself workshop after workshop, year after year, and for sure I must sound boring and repetitive, but when I say, each time, that the workshop that we just concluded surpassed all my expectations, my imagination, it is true: it was just like this!
Luckily my students with whom I had the privilege to share these intense ten days were there with me and they all know that in these ten days what happens united us, made us stronger, it allowed for us to see things that may be, just a few days before, we would have never seen.
I simply lead them among the places and people that I love, the same places where I’ve been returning to photograph in a circular and stubborn way, without a specific reason except the profound desire to photograph them. Nothing else.
I still remember the day that I told my students that I wanted to get “lost” in a path that I had never taken before. Colin defined it our odyssey: an extraordinary human odyssey, where with the passing of time we came to know, we lived and shared some stories of ordinary duress, sadness, dignity, simplicity, love and merriment. When we could, in silence, we tried to help out some people with what we found in our pockets; other times, it was us who were the beneficiaries of some roasted corn offered with so much caring; we were given some oranges and a few cigars that only Agripinas’ hands manage to create in such a delicate way. When she gave it to me, I traveled back to my friend Fidel Rodriguez’s farm. I remembered that rolling up a cigar for me was the first thing he would do. This simple gesture made me realize how much I miss.
Colin, Leo, Raphael and Tammy have taken some very beautiful images and they are the first to be surprised. Following my instinct we went around, I introduced them to my friends and possible photographic situations, but each photo was taken by each one of them.
Come to mind the words that Diego Mormorio wrote presenting my second book Passing Through:” From the last ten years he goes where the magazines send him and where nobody sends him. He goes, because, although reason would want for us to suspect the contrary, it has been written that he has to go. Of this wandering he is certainly happy. But he’s also corroded from the necessity to see….”
I believe that this will beyond my will is the key to my taking pictures, to being a maestro of photography.
I continued to tell my students that this workshop was being blessed in a special, simple and incredible way. We often felt that way every moment that something unexpected happened before our very eyes.
Colin, Leo, Raphael, Tammy thank you all for having been my extraordinary companions in our adventure and journey; thank you for your generous and sincere advice on some of my images.
Among some of the fondest memories I’d mention just a few: Colin’s hug after having seen my panoramic images; Rapahel’s words as he was crying for his little brother; all the pizzas and the beers and the guaranà sodas that we consumed along with the mythical “rotten cake”; Leo’s last minute beautiful images; Tammy spreading a ton of mosquitos repellent.
The words that each one of us has written about this experience including mine that you are reading now will, always, be part of this group Na Verdade and part of our life.