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.