Have you ever tried to photograph or just picture in your mind an office worker who does not like what they do, but do it only because they have to? Can you imagine the expression of discontent and almost despair on their face? I still remember having jobs before where I did a mental countdown daily until the time came that I was free to go home. How unnatural it is to live that way…
Imagine finding what you love to do and doing just that all day, every day, wishing you had more hours in the day to do it. This is how I feel about photography and my work in it. I love doing it, sharing it, learning it, teaching it, exploring the world with inquisitive eyes, mind and faculty and remaining constantly at awe of everything I see and everyone I meet.
All of this has become more and more intense since I found another photographer who shares my vision and who was willing to dive into the unknown of a new amazing project of taking our love of photography and exploring the world while sharing it with others who have the same passion.
We found and keep finding ourselves in the streets of the city, where we meet the unexpected, exchange unforgettable moments with other humans, and then capture and share bits of it with the world.
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Every once in a while I meet an incredible human, and they remind me that aging is a natural process that only claims our physical body. The spirit is always effervescent if we allow it to be, the soul is only more experienced and our mind can only grow richer if we feed it in the right way. This lady I met this morning, early at sunrise was giggling while doing her morning exercise and very proudly telling my friends and I that she is 85 years old and still feels young and full of energy. She was infectious in her enthusiasm and bright spirit, light as a feather and innocent as a small child. She renewed my hope in life and its beauty and easily added herself to my list of unforgettable people.
It can be found on the shores of innocence.
Shanghai’s migrant workers leave home, province and family to come to the big expanding city, to join the working force and help build China into the giant it wishes itself to be. They are the simplest of people in the city, the ones that have a smile ready on their faces to give to any who looks their way, the hardest workers and those whose lives are the most difficult.
This is a tribute to them, these wonderful people.
Where the seconds melt into minutes, and the minutes into hours, where conversations flow, where bonds are made, where friendships and money are made and lost… the village card game.
I do, I love people, I love photographing them, I love learning their stories, seeing their smiles, laughing at their jokes, feeling human with them…
Have you ever noticed how we walk sometimes in the cities with small clouds hanging around our heads, that the shine of our smiles has a very hard time breaking through? We move as though we are troubled by so many invisible phantoms that prevent us from responding humanly to others that pass us by. But when we meet simple people in simple places, there is just us, them and their reaction. Most often it is a big generous smile that glows and its warmth is able to reach us and force a mutual reaction from our faces. And it does feel so good to exchange these smiles with the people of the world where no words are necessary.
Please meet one of the Hani minority children from the rice terraces of beautiful Yunnan. This child lives in a charming little house called “mushroom house” because his people were inspired by mushrooms to design these homes after many years of living in caves. In his home he has pigs, a water buffalo, chicken, ducks, cats, dogs, generations of family members and many colorful dried seeds and pumpkins. To go to school everyday, the children must walk down a valley and up a mountain, the journey takes more than an hour each way. Their smiles are guaranteed to melt your heart!
The Ponte Vecchio (old bridge), dedicated in its past to butcher shops, it is charming beyond belief as it sits in bright colors over the Arno river. It reminded me fo Lego blocks, something else that makes me smile :)