The other day I was taking pictures at La Défense, when a girl working for action against hunger came up to me. One thing struck me as funny, although funny isn’t quite the word; in English you would say “awkward”.
La Défense is a place where big (evil) French corporations have their headquarters. At lunchtime you see employees coming down on the neatly mowed lawn to have lunch in their nice tuxedos. They would be the king of golden boys you would want to ask for money, when I, in comparison, stand out as poor guy. If I wasn’t holding a camera, most people would think was here loitering.
She told me she had lived in the street for five years. I was surprised because most of the kids working for those non-profit organizations are idealists who come from middle class backgrounds. I believed her, though. Maybe she lied but I don’t think she did.
Anyway, I mention this because I enjoyed the conversation. When I take pictures in crowded places I see hundreds of people for whom I don’t have any back story; they’re just faces with inscrutable expressions who go about their futile personal business. That day I got the chance to meet one of those faces, and a glimpse at the person behind it.