Monday, September 17, 2012

The proper photographer




A photographer asked to take our picture yesterday. "I'm a proper photographer," he said. "Works in the public art gallery collection."

He was taking photos of Christchurch people in the ruined city. 

"Have you lived here forever?" he asked, looking down through the view finder. 

"No," we said.

He made a portrait of us in front of the ruin of Shands Emporium, a small wooden shop built in 1850. Tyres were piled on its roof, holding it down. Loose stones shifted underfoot. The shop looked like an ark, battered after a long journey at sea. The carpark was bordered with hurricane fencing and white dashes like a mayday signal. The children held our hands, looked at the camera.

Just one more, he said. I'll shift my camera and one more. Closer together. Last one coming. Done.