The past few weeks I noticed how I try to include people in my photographs. I find it indeed very difficult to point a camera at someone. It feels like I am intruding in that person’s personal space. And when I come to think of it, I don’t really need them in my photographs. Well, maybe to show how huge something is when a human being is in a frame.
Yet I wish I could overcome this reluctance, this distance with other human beings.
In a few weeks I’ll be attending a workshop on street photography. One evening is about theory and the second half day is getting some practice.
Visiting the Boris Mikhailov exposition in Antwerp moved me very much and afterwards Sweetheart and I talked about documentary photography.
I took following a Syrian refugee arriving an trying to settle in my home town as an example. Maybe the project becomes an exposition, a book, whatever… I then would feel like I having exploited someone on my road to success.
Sweetheart thought people crave to tell their stories, and they could be examples for other new arrivals or open people’s eyes who tend to resent the whole refugee thing. It could be an interesting interplay and a potential win/win for both.
All this made me think and Sweetheart is well placed to help me in this matter. She asked me why I did not consider taking sponsorship of a newcomer so I could help a family with learning our language, helping them with their administration, helping them getting acquainted with the help agencies. I would be able to be a part of their life, make photographs, talk, interview, write.
Life has been rather friendly with me compared to what other experienced.
Today I can say I have a great job, my two daughters are doing okay and I have found the Love of my life. I’ve a roof, a bed and hot water. Food and beverages in abundance. I’m healthy.
I am happy.
Guess it is time to give something back. More on this later.