Why We Photograph


July 2016

I went to Paris with my friend, Whammy in the summer. After breakfast, as we paid the bill, I noticed a man reading, with his full concentration on a book. I went up to him and said “Hello sir, do you speak english?” — “Yes.” — “May I take your photograph?”, I asked.

“What for?” he asked back.

I forgot what my answer was. I only remember being terribly shy, not knowing the answer, but at the same time, knowing very well my intentions.

“Sure. Go ahead.” he said

And so I did. I made this promise to send all the photographs I took of strangers, back to them. I’ve been doing so for the last year and a half. This moment though, is special, it had a huge impact on me, it made me think about all the things we do, the films we make, and the portraits of people we take. I am reminded of what an honour it is, to have someone say “Yes.” to being in front of the camera for us.

I remember, in one of our classes, our teacher, Marta Andreu reminded us, that it is impossible to touch without being touched.

This photograph will always remind me, every time I take a camera, to know exactly why I do it.

Published by Venice De Castro

Venice De Castro is documentarist whose curiosity is observing how personal and societal transformations manifest in everyday life.

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