There’s a gem of a quote from an article written by Cody Doucette over at Matador Notbeook entitled 6 Portraits of Why We Travel where even if I failed to commit myself to memorizing it, I’d consider difficult to forget because it’s added an extra layer of significance to the fondness I’ve developed for photographing people either on the streets or in whatever environmental setting I might run into them. Cody says:
Despite the reasons why we end up in some dot on a map, it is always the people we share our time with that will define the place in our minds.
I strongly believe that people are by far the most compelling subjects a photographer could ever ask for. Yes the intricate details of a dilapidated building or the vivid colors of a bouquet of carnations are just as interesting if taken under the right light or from a compelling angle but in the end, nothing can communicate as much information about a setting as much as a human being.
I had attended the Colombian Day Parade the year before for the first time and I found myself stomping the same grounds a year later. I’m not Colombian but among large celebrations like this, you almost don’t even have to be as long as you’re the type that appreciates cultural diversity which is practically ubiquitous in most neighborhoods of New York.
I would venture to say that Vanessa was by far the most sought after person by anyone strapped with a camera within that block where she along with other girls were assisting to promote a local company in the parade. In the past I’ve tried to avoid photographing parades because anyone in attendance is well aware of the likelihood that they may be approached for a photo and so they’ll do their best to receive you with their best pose which is often over-staged with simulated smiles as oppose to raw and authentic.
In which category did Vanessa fall in? It’s all subjective but the least I can do after having photographed her was thank her for putting up with one more guy with a camera being that there happen to be 4 more ahead of me striving to capture a glimpse of her.