I often face a connundrum - how to become invisible amongst those that I want to be visible to? In my surrounding, people have already learnt that when I take pictures, I prefer people not to pose and, should they notice, to continue with their conversation/activity. The mere noticing is in itself bringing about change and questions the naturalness of the behaviour onwards. But how do you become invisible amongst the people who are looking for you?
I am standing in a big hall - in a hotel, with plenty of unfamiliar faces, quite a few familiar faces, many waiters, many smiles, many bottles of wine and cocktail glasses. I listen to music from the decades, moving my feet ever so subtly (although my suit is showing the movement as if it's a magnification device), and I look around. I know the people, and I know the feelings they are having, and I know that at a graduation ball, you think you are saying true goodbyes. But you simply don't know the next time you'll see that person. Have we been spoilt by technology, by proximity, that we have forgotten how people did it back then? (You know, when they wrote letters, send postcards, and used the telephone for very short messages) Why is it so challenging to simply smile and accept that you won't see the person tomorrow but at some indefinite point in the future?!
And I am there with my camera, and I see (or I think I do) the sadness penetrating - the eyes see the lens but they look like through it because it is not the camera that one cares about - it is oneself - the impeding change, the one that we had a whole lot of time to prepare and that still surprises us, overcoming us in the form of an emotional tsunami, eradicating all the memories we don't need and keeping the ones that could stand - the ones that will put a smile on our face anytime, the one that made us question ourselves and through which we discovered something new about ourselves, the one that guarantees that next time I see 'you' I'll be different (and yet perhaps not). No, the camera doesn't capture all that - but when I look at the picture, that's what I see - because that's not your picture but mine - it is not a picture for you but for me - it is my memory bank, not yours. And it is still empty - I don't see every memory I want to, I don't see all the ones I've made and collected and I don't see the ones that are yet to be created. And that's why I continue taking those pictures - because sometimes, it is the only way to be invisible amongst your own crowd.