Some years ago, a family member told me that the problem with my photographs was that she didn’t know who the people shown were and that she didn’t care… and she didn’t think many other people would either. Two decades later, I’m not only still taking pictures of the same types of people but even of the same individuals!
This is Edward. He appeared in my book of photographs “Glimpses of La Yagüita” together with a text where he described his desire that people imagine him to be wealthy when viewing his image. We have continued our friendship as well as photographic collaboration as he passed through adolescence, became a man, took a job in the capital, had two children, returned to his mother’s home to replace the decaying wood walls and leaking roof with cinder blocks and zinc, separated from his wife, and fell into hard times during a period of unemployment. As a child, he had a vivid imagination and sense of adventure. Hardship and struggle are squeezing the glimmer from his eye, but he seems to have resisted the temptation of joining those around him in criminal enterprise.
It may be that my family member was right, that no one cares who the people I photograph are - but I don’t think so. And I care.