A while ago I wrote an article about making contact with subjects and asking for permission at times. I’ve had a lovely experience this week following up on a street photo after I had a brief encounter with someone I’ve photographed, and I’d like to share it with you.
It’s the 42nd week of my weekly street photo from Amsterdam for a Dutch newspaper called Het Parool. Last week I was taking photos the whole day but nothing worked. I was frustrated as I didn’t get the image and the next day I had to go again. In Amsterdam, one of the things that slows down cyclists is an open bridge. I was waiting on my bike and looking at my phone, when suddenly I saw this mannequin staring at me from a bag on the back of the bicycle in front of me. I took some photos and the cyclist noticed me but we didn’t talk yet.
When we cycled further, I continued to take photos from my bicycle. Afterwards I shouted at the cyclist that his photo might end up in the newspaper. We stopped briefly at a crossroads and exchanged contact details. His name is Patrick and he invited me to an exhibition at his hair saloon.
Patrick studied at the Rietveld art academy and worked as a stylist for photographers like Erwin Olaf. Yesterday I visited his saloon called Shampoo Planet in the centre of Amsterdam. Patrick collects found objects and materials and transforms them into new artworks, often commenting on the current situation in society with Covid, but the works also reflect on themes like fast fashion and textile production. The mannequin from the bicycle bag is now turned into an art work as well, dressed and with curly hair, at the basement of the saloon. Patrick has put up the newspaper picture with an explanation text about the exhibition on the front door.
It’s the first time I’ve followed up a street photo like this and I’m really happy I did. In this way Patrick knew about the newspaper publication and he has used it in a very nice way to introduce the exhibition. As I made the photo before reaching out to him, there is nothing posed or staged about the image, so this makes it the best of both worlds.
© All the pictures in this post are copyrighted. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.