The back streets of Venice are full of pleasant surprises. This is where the Venetians live and it is an entirely different world to that of the Piazza San Marco or the Canal Grande.
It is where I found a local place called Pasticceria Rizzardini. I stopped by for a ciabatta and was immediately enraptured by the fantastic Venice atmosphere. I photographed the scene and began engaging with the people inside.
My Italian is non-existent but wherever I go I find that a smile is worth a thousand words. I am fascinated by people and tend to make friends easily – lifetime friendships even though they last only a few minutes. After taking some photos of the interior, I decided to ask the owner to pose for me. I love candid, street life, fly-on-the-wall photography but sometimes a portrait reveals so much more. He gladly accepted and even went to fetch his wife so she could join him.
The light was too low to achieve the depth of field I wanted, so I put them in the middle of the scene and focused on them. When I got home I saw how each face told its own story. How proud the owner looked and how oiled the man on the left appeared. When I look at this photograph now, and similar photos I have taken in my life, I can’t help but smile. It is a short moment forever fixed in time; a record of some new friends for life.
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