The two things I learned since picking up photography three months ago are: (1) Always take your camera with you, no matter where you go; and (2) talk to people first before taking their picture. When you know their stories, the camera knows what it wants to capture. Photography becomes something very instinctive.
I was driving home from the supermarket and was about a hundred yards from home when I spotted a man with his cart in the shade of a tree. The cart was loaded with all kinds of different objects, and first I thought that this man was roaming the streets collecting items that people had thrown away. But then I saw that everything was neatly wrapped in their original packaging: pillows, plastic chairs, mirrors, pans and pots.
Fabiano was born in Espírito Santo, the state south of Bahia, and moved to our town 47 years ago, before it was even officially founded and recognized as a county in its own right. He worked in a saw-mill for more than twenty years, but then paper factories replaced native forests with eucalyptus plantations, bringing in highly specialized workers, and Fabiano lost his job.
"Do you have a family?" I asked.
"A wife and two sons. But my sons are all grown up. One is 26 and the other 24 years old."
"How long have you been seeling things pushing your cart through the streets?"
"Fifteen years", he answered with a soft-spoken voice.
"And this job allows you to make a living?" I asked.
He looked at me and then, with a smile on his face, he answered: "I'm 54 now."
And then he sold me a pillow.