Having a camera is like a key to unlock any strangers door. You can enter any conversation with a purpose, a request, an offer. The first 3 minutes of meeting someone I am to photograph is a beautifully nervous one. The delicate and important first impressions and gentle tread of new ground.
A friend kindly introduced me to her neighbour in Israel. I called in advance from London. Malky answered with a polite and clear American twang and we instantly swung into friendly banter. She warmly reassured me that we would find time to meet and seemed genuinely interested and supportive of my project. Our conversation felt open and effortless, I instantly liked her.
Upon arriving at her house I was greeted with a warm hug and introduced to the shy and beautiful girls sitting at the table quietly playing. I explained more about my project and why I was visiting Israel as she proudly offered me a deluxe latte from a machine her son had bought her. I couldn’t refuse. As she frothed the milk a gorgeous baby boy waddled in and stared bright eyed up at his mother under golden blonde locks of hair.
We sat and talked and agreed to meet again. I got the impression her busy life was handled with nothing but composure and gratitude. As I went to leave one of her young girls stood next to me with a Rubiks cube and I asked if she knew how to complete it? She smiled bashfully and proceeded to glide the blocks with ease and familiarity. She completed it in a matter of minutes. I was astounded.
I returned a few times over my trip and got to meet other members of the family, each time enjoying great coffee and conversation. Malky was accepting, nurturing and creative. Before leaving I really wanted meet her mother.
Her six year old sat dwarfed in the car next to me and I strapped her seat belt in, apprehensive of how she would direct me in a foreign tongue. She was adorable. Her soft high-pitched voice guided me left and right accompanied by a tiny index finger appearing occasionally in my peripheral vision. Ten minutes later her car door swung open and she clambered up the steps of her grandmother’s house. I was impressed.
Malky’s mother was, as expected, a character. Her eyes twinkled as she spoke and she took my hand confidently in hers and asked to read it….oao x