So a few years back this show called “Heroes” was getting all kinds of well-deserved hype which Vanessa and I eventually made it a ritual to watch every Monday night until it unexpectedly got cancelled one day. To quickly outline the essence of the show, it told the stories of ordinary people who discover superhuman abilities, and how these abilities take effect in their lives.
The majority of the characters had their own unique ability and I don’t recall specifically if the one I’m about to mentioned was inherent to any of the characters but either way, I always thought that to have the ability to speak every single language in the world would be amazing. As a photographer with a penchant to take portraits of complete strangers from diverse ethnic backgrounds, it would be a joy to see their astonishing reaction if I approached them speaking their language and not the universal one of English.
I photograph a lot of Hispanic people and the reason I think it comes natural for me to approach them first is because there’s an invisible bond that exist between use through our first language. Geographically we might be from different countries but I always approach them speaking Spanish which in return I believe helps break that wall that might have existed had I approached them speaking English. The goal is to get them in the most comfortable state as possible and knowing their language is generally a good place to begin establishing that ease.
Walking around the predominantly Hispanic community of Jackson Heights in Queens, I literally stumbled upon a clown who went by the name Chi-Chin as he took a break from playing the character he had been dedicating himself to for the past 2 years. He works 10hr shifts daily and I caught him in a moment where he was resting from being super cheerful.