My Camera Remembers You
My first camera was a gift from my grandmother. I was maybe 8. Ever since, photography has been a part of my life; A practice I always come back to even after long periods of absence. My first love was with street photography. I love to be the invisible eye, walking through life capturing unusual situations and unfiltered emotions. My Camera Remembers You is a project and tribute to that first love.
The truth is, street photography is tough love. It's a personal challenge to always be ready to take a shot and be unapologetic about it. I try to be respectful of the people I photograph, but I can rarely ask for permission. I like to photograph the unexpected, a moment, a situation. I either capture it when it happens or it is gone. I cannot ask people to reproduce it, it would become an act. That said, I also don't like the feeling that I'm stealing something from them. Consent is a central theme in my life.
Couple years ago, I met a beautiful man. He was a 83 years old climbing the Mount Royal like he was 20. I started talking to him and simply asked him if I could take a picture of him. He agreed and so I did. After we parted ways, a thought started to haunt me: even if the picture is not the greatest, I would love for him to have it.
The birth of the project
After that encounter, I promised myself to talk to the people I photograph. It is not easy for me to talk to random strangers. Especially not after I took a shot of them. But I guess I like to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. That's how My Camera Remembers You was born. The idea is simple, I will give a card with a reference to the picture, so when people contact me I know which one to send them.
I made the logo above. I could have printed it like regular business card but the hipster in me wanted something a little more original and artsy. Actually I've always wanted to make myself a stamp, mostly because of a local Montreal business, Central Stamp, that used to have an adorable boutique on Park Avenue. Every time I would pass by, I couldn't help but glance inside and ask myself "Do I need a stamp?". Well, I can finally answer yes, I "need" a stamp!
I didn't want a generic handle for the stamp because they are usually bulky. I wanted the stamp to be small enough to be carried. And since I happen to be a woodworker, I built myself one out of walnut. The handle has a groove all around to make it easy to hold; It's actually very pleasant to the touch. The metal box allows me to store it safely, secured with an elastic band:
I don't really publish my pictures. I tried for a little while but didn't keep at it (if you are curious you can check out my 500px profile). I prefer to share my photography in person with the people I love and tell them the story behind them. Eventually, I might start publishing the photos from that project. To be continued!