It Ain´t  Sunshine Without You

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2016

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® Calvin Chen

This morning is freezing outside but my heart is warm. I’m happily back home after Bahia and I’m seeping great Italian coffee as I’m going over again all my contact sheets of the rolls taken in Bahia in 2015. Finding images totally overlooked just a few months ago humbles me. Could it be that having been there recently is helping me seeing with more depth? The two workshops were magical, many epiphanies unfolded before our eyes. Once again, my first workshop of the year started with just one student. Instead of cancelling it, I went, as always, to receive the lucky one: Calvin Chen.

After having taught several of these single-student courses and after having looked at the images that both my student and I have taken in each one of them, it’s becoming clearer that these are the kind of pictures that you only take when you commit your heart and soul to photography and go to places where nobody else goes to, just moved from the spiritual energy within you. This was exactly the case of this wonderful and soulful experience with my close friend Calvin. He was the chosen one to accompany me in this land and these people that I’ve been portraying and getting closer with over the years. 

Besides interacting with some of the families and taking images of them, we have been eating some very good food, and we also hugged a lot with Calvin. We only wished that our dear friend Sandra were here with us, but soon she will this coming May in Peru!

As much as Calvin was thanking me daily for the unique experience he was living, the gratefulness was mutual for the wonderful opportunities that life bestowed upon us daily. If you’d ask which ones, I’d simply answer our appreciation for the magic of each moment that we shared including the wonderful daily editing session of each other’s work. He’d show me his daily edits from which some unique and poetic images were being chosen, and I can assure you that they are so special. I also shared with him different projects I’ve been working on. In previous workshop he always was the quiet one and would let other students do all the talk, but in this one he had no choice! I’m amazed of how his eye has grown both during picture-taking possibilities and editing sessions. It’s almost uncanny to see how he helped me eliminate images without me offering any resistance, with just a few exceptions. Ahahah! We just agreed on almost everything and it was pleasures to see how each project got stronger because of his advise.

Lately, I’ve been talking about the powerful spiritual presence in the workshops that I’ve had the good fortune to teach. This is the case of the very first workshop of 2016 and I know that this will continue to grow as my faith continues to deepen. Some of you might think that I’m totally crazy teaching workshops with just one student. But I can assure you that all that I don’t make in monetary terms is made up by the amazing experience that we shared, when taking good, beautiful pictures becomes almost secondary! 

In life the more we give the more we receive! It’s magical and it’s true! 

So happy to have been in Chapada only with you Calvin! EB


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