Another fantastic yet frantic photography trip. Faces of fleeting new friends fill up my storage devices once more. My photographic role is to engulf myself within an unfamiliar workplace in which I stand out entirely and get to know artisans/workers in a short space of time. On reflection I always consider how strange it must be to have me bust in to their workplace start moving things around and directing them with absolutely no grasp of the language. My client has often laughed at me here as she has commented I do an impromptu bum wiggle….hey whatever works! Don’t worry it’s not towards to the unsuspecting people it just must be the ‘tail end’ of a Italian style shuffle intended to get people to loosen up, laugh or smile. Most people hate having their portrait done, I know I do myself. I am far too self conscious that if someone takes longer than a second my face falls to anxious looking pieces. So in this unusual situation were communication is not on our side (the translator is of with the writer) I found a quick consistent style to be my friend, confident directions & lighting decisions had to be made and a physical approach on a par with a Russian gymnast. Of course I am not actually that fit so when I got back each evening I felt it! It’s not just portraits but a sizeable amount of working shots, recording process of items from start to finish. The first leg of my trip was in and around Shanghai, China. This was a total of 4 shooting days in two factories / warehouses. The atmosphere going into each place was foggy and cold like a January morning on the M25. However the people, their stories and their bright teddy bear overalls changed this round to be a much more colorful experience. Everyone we talked to was friendly and welcoming. Most people I shot went immediately to a stoic pose, which Yuelin informs me is a standard ‘go to’ pose in China, must be like our standard bunny ears behind the head pose. I let people do what felt comfortable…. then came the shuffle!!
*Oh by the way on a travel tip be aware of ‘The Great Fire Wall of…..’. It will have no bearing if you are backpacking I’m sure but for business; we transfer, dropbox, facebook, gmail, google search among others are not in play.
Here are a few for now to give you an idea.
Just a couple of examples of people laughing at me… I think they think I’m ridiculous …they could be right!
Let me introduce the cutest couple ever…
A little bit of atmosphere..