I’ve just met him again.
His family, wife and three sons, would certainly get mentioned here but I didn’t planned to talk about them now. However, we’ve just met again and he gave me that look. Thoughts are here, so why not to say something.
They live just God knows where, I couldn’t believe when I got there. Roads with no asphalt, scenery without houses, just grass, rocks, hills and valleys. My impression was strengthen with the foggy rainy day. It’s a depressive terrain, I felt I was on the top of the world, nothing to see around.
Reality for them is that they have no jobs, no paychecks are coming to this house. One of these young boys goes to school that doesn’t meet his needs. Every day he and his brother (not in the photo, he wasn’t there when I came) walk and drive a bicycle, depending on the time of the year, to distant school. They have no car, no computer (actually you’ll see one in a photo which doesn’t work), haven’t seen a TV actually, no carpets, no sink, no… well they don’t live the way an average family lives.
I started a project that includes proposal and photographs of families indeed, that should be submitted as a whole to some organizations who’ll hopefully provide some help. I’m still waiting some paper documents I need to get, in order to send this project proposal. How things are right now I can’t tell for sure if I’m going to get that papers. I blame some people and bureaucracy, but that’s whole another story.
I came to their house with a person who is involved in the project. I introduced myself and explained what I need the photos for. They weren’t comfortable and I didn’t expected them to be. I came to their house to take pictures of their life and to show some strangers. The woman was ashamed at first “Look how dirty is here. Sorry for that. Let me clean it a bit.” “Oh no, no, really, no need for that.”
The father was looking at me with hope in eyes. He was ok with me taking the pictures.
I wore a big smile, great confidence and spirit for them putting aside that I’m just an intruder. I was thinking that I would deal with the whole atmosphere later, when I’m allowed to feel something.
Now I needed to think fast and deal with a camera that’s completely new to me. I got it an hour before, Canon D600 with 17-55mm f2.8. I’ve never shot a Canon DSLR before, but without that camera this wouldn’t be possible. There is no chance that I could use my Oly in those conditions! It couldn’t have done a thing. It was rain and not enough light in the house. I was so excited with my new camera but my brain and my fingers didn’t know how to cooperate instantly, the settings are in completely different places….huh… I missed some shots just because of that. I couldn’t instantly react. I had just 15 minutes to show how and where this family lives.
Photographically speaking those 15 minutes were nerve racking. I wasn’t satisfied with what I got. Considering the whole situation and unknown camera it was expected to get just few shots. I missed one shot there and spend all day thinking about that lost opportunity.
From the human being stand point. I was deeply touched, disturbed, angry on the world, sad, and much more…
I mentioned that I met the father, again. That was on the street, just passing each other. He stood for a second, gave me that look and said “Hello”. I wanted to run, I know he expects something from me, something I can’t give. The first time I saw him after I was in their house, was after about a month or so. He and his wife came in my office seeking for help. “Have you done anything?” She was angry, he was pleasant. What I could tell them? No, I’ve done nothing because I have no influence on some stupid documents and people who don’t care!
Hate it! Hate that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. Hate to say “Hello!” back to him when he smiles and look at me hoping I’ll say something promising for him. He always say “Hi” and call me with my first name. He remembered my first name because I represent a hope, because I may be someone important. Do I know his first name? No. I wanna be just intruder. Can I really be just that, I don’t know, I’m trying. I’ll let you know when succeed.