I thought I was a street photographer, but I discovered I am more than that, thanks to two encounters: The Covid-19 and Shima’le. I can’t take a picture of The Covid-19, but we all know about it. At the beginning, I hated it because it arrived in my life without being invited. It forced me to change my habits, my schedule and to cancel travels and meetings. It came along with great incertitude in relation to the future, both in terms of financial resources and lifestyle.
De facto, confined to my home in a Moshav (a kind of village in Israel), I stopped taking pictures: how can a street photographer take pictures when he can’t walk around in the city? So I left my Leica on its shelf and didn’t even write a post. It is not that I was lazy, no, I had a lot of activities, just not related to photography.
Then, walking on the Jordan River bank, I met Shima’le.
Shima’le is not just a goat keeper, he is one of the finest human beings I know. I didn’t spend hours speaking with him, but with some people you don’t need to exchange many words in order to forge a link, to establish a communication.
With his smile and his natural happiness, Shima’le reminded me that what matters is not what we do, but who we are. I am not a street photographer, I am a photographer of human beings. I like to capture people’s image, to discover them, to understand the enigma of humanity through those multiple pictures.
And today, there is sometimes more humanity outside of the city, where some people continue to live with a more natural rhythm and healthy values.
So thank you to you both: Covid-19 and Shima’le. I don’t put the two in the same basket of course, I’ll be happy to continue to build a relation with Shima’le but I won’t invite the Covid-19 to come back (Even if it might invite itself next year, I know).