I was on a desperately needed holiday after about 14 months of work. I phoned Mom and told her I am bringing home three ladies to stay with us for a few days. - Repayment for the number of strangers they saddled us with growing up. I can’t count how many mornings my sisters and I would wake up and find ourselves sharing the breakfast table with a bunch of strangers whose car got stuck in town and could only think of calling the church. Surely the minister would help out... So the Saturday I arrive in George I ask Dad for his car to go to Mosselbay where I am to fetch three Dutch ladies, calling themselves the travelling panties, who had just completed their studies and wanted to see a bit more of our country. Mom, the lady Dragon (her Chinese sign, not her character) was a bit nervous at first but very quickly realised how easily her house filled with strangers got along.
The day after the travelling panties talked me into caressing and looking into the python’s eyes we parted ways. They carried on travelling East, I went back West to the Mother City. I was still on leave and on one of many late nights out I walked into Madness and saw a woman sitting at the bar. I opened my shoe (bag), took out my camera and asked: “May I?” She politely smiled and I pressed the button to open and close the shutter.
A German photographer on his way to a shoot in Brazil was sitting next to me and said: “I can’t believe you just did that. I’ve been sitting here looking at her for a while now and hate it that I don’t have my camera with me.” We started talking shop and I ask him the question for page 7 (now probably page 6) and he responded instantly: “A picture of my ear.”
I can’t read the drunken handwriting of his email or website details of that late night. So I still need to go search and find his friends to send him his picture. But the plan has changed, the dream has changed. The book will still be great, but Internet is the way for now. So this year on this blog or another page on my site I will start publishing pictures of all the people I meet in my life. I ask all of them the same question and then photograph their answer. Over the years I have met three types of people: The ones who immediately know, the ones who need time to think about it (some for years) and others who don’t even want to think about it. As a photographer I find myself blessed when someone allows me try and capture that part of his or her life.