People are truly interesting creatures. A brilliant psychologist once observed that it is part of the human condition to believe throughout their lives that they themselves are wholly complicated and complex beings while those around them are somehow simpler to read and dissect. This is true of everyone, but I truly believe if you can step outside of that notion for just a moment you can see things in entirely differently way. The person sitting next to you on the train, the busker on the sidewalk or the muttering homeless man on the corner for instance… they have worlds within them that you cannot know – beliefs, experiences, favourite songs, histories that you perhaps have never even imagined could exist. I can’t help but feel a sense of tragedy every time I consider our inability to reach out and see these things.
It’s not just the beauty in each other we miss out on, but the warnings of consequence, or the pain of loss and the opportunities to share it missed when we bluster past the still things. Life is so fast, it’s as though we have forgotten how to be still or how to listen and just be. Perhaps it is this that motivates me to document and photograph people being people so much. What they do, where they go, what makes them smile and what makes them pensive or sad…all these things are hidden stories and hidden canvases.
The photo above is of a friend of mine who is a professional fire dancer with the group Phoenix Fire & Drum. We call him Blaze and he is incredibly talented. Watching him manipulate gravity and fire is a proper treat, and photographing it, even more so. For more on what they do as a group please check out their facebook page.