East of Heart

Engaged

My graduation project is far from done but I’m starting to get unstuck from the funk that’s held me down for the last few months. I’ve got a big mess of files to sort through and past stories to share. My plan is to synchronize the present here just as I lay down the final periods of my draft and zip close my backpack for the next move, a few months from now.

This sequence comes from November. One Sunday morning, I received a text message from my friend Casey asking me if I wanted to attend a Persian wedding party that evening. It turned out to be a Kurdish engagement celebration. I wasn’t sure about how I’d fit in but as my friend had assured me, we were welcomed with enormous hospitality. Before long, we were indulging in delicious food and line-dancing with the rest of them.

I suspected that a photo story awaited me but I wasn’t sure of how I’d be received taking pictures as an outsider, so I only brought my pocket camera. Once there, I realized that I just needed to act with the same confidence as the five other people who were photographing or filming at all times. The slower autofocus of a pocket camera means that you have to be a lot more strategic in anticipating the decisive moment (compared to using a DSLR).

By far my favourite photo is the third one. The bride-to-be was supposed to recognize the hands of her fiancé while blindfolded. This was the moment when she was allowed to see again and discovered that she had in fact picked a much older man!

To conclude, I’m proud to share that my story on Mohammed the Egyptian gastronomer in Lima made it to a greater public through the excellent Makeshift Magazine. I wish to thank Makeshift’s photo editor Myles Estey in particular for his interest and guidance in the process of publishing this article. If you’ve got a spare moment today, I recommend that you give the just-announced World Press Photo 2013 winning entries a look. Settle into your chair and prepare to be moved.

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One Comment

  1. Emi wrote:

    Que bueno “leerte” de nuevo, a veces el ojo fotográfico es más importante que el equipo!suerte en tus proyectos, siga para adelante.