Shot in Panama City, 2019.
I had an idea of what I was hoping to capture through this photoshoot before I set out to make it a reality. The reality of it far exceeded my hopes or expectations in many ways. Profound is a word that only attempts to communicate the whole of the experience.
I was introduced to someone who said they could take me to a place where I might meet the woman I was looking for.
We walked and talked and continued beyond alleyways, beyond comfort, and into a shared space, with shared beds and shared needles. “Trust me”, he said, while I reviewed with overwhelming trepidation all the decisions that led me there and all the possibilities that awaited.
A few men sat rolling dice at a table made from surrounding materials, a few sat in the corner injecting their next dose into another world. We kept walking until we found her.
Maria. A small framed woman with a gaze that made mountains become small. I told her about my project and she was immediately interested in participating, with the prospect of payment being of most interest. The shared dwelling was settled near the ocean, and when I asked her to bring us to her bathroom for the shoot, she asked if we should go to the ocean. This is because the ocean is both her shower and her toilet. For the sake of the project I asked her if we could go to an enclosed bathroom, which meant that we would wander through more alleyways in search of public housing and shared facilities. We found a spot in a bright yellow alleyway, sinks lined up outside, toilets behind a few doors. The photos share some of the many layers that make up Maria.