De Cajon

New York, US 2010

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Also this year, I’ve had the privilege to receive my students in my place in Brooklyn. The unique thing is that all five of them were at their first workshop with me. As a teacher the most difficult thing to make them understand is that is not easy thing to capture the essence of a moment happening before our eyes for a fraction of a second. The first few days of editing I had to underscore the mistakes that they had made. As I was talking I was feeling that, while looking at their faces, my words were not fully understood. We started analyzing their pictures with more attention in the attempt to break the almost factory-made mold that each one of them carries within. Paradoxically, the students whom at the beginning were less receptive to my words were the two professional photographers. The idea of going around New York’s streets having the whole day at their disposal without a specific theme or assignment to fulfill was driving them crazy. One of them confessed me that he was afraid of photographing people. I smiled and replied to only photograph the people he felt comfortable with. I also explained that they had to change mental attitude: instead of going after life in an almost desperate way, I told them to appreciate each instant of these ten days together although sometimes pictures will not materialize.

Slowly Benjamin, Juliann, Karen, Marlaine and Pablo started understanding what I meant and their new images began to have a new energy: they were photographic moments. The big jump forward that each one of them took left me speechless. At of end of each course, I always say to my students to look again at the portfolio they brought with them and at the new images taken during the workshop. Also this time, the new photographs speak clearly.



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