Photography as a seduction game
I am walking on the beach of a luxury hotel. But we are in the Philippines, and things are laid back, still. There are fishermen on the beach before sunset, acting as if they were alone in the world.
It's all so quiet. Maybe the calm before the storm? Clouds are moving fast, but the water is still. And there is this woman, in her flower pants and hat, picking shells. In her own way, she appears stunning to me.
I approach and appreciate the scene. The reflection. The smell. The breeze. The silence. And us. And when I am close enough to her, she notices me. But she doesn't make eye contact yet. She has her ritual. She turns around like a slow-mo dancer. She picks up like a slow-mo eagle. Then she turns around and starts again.
I watch and smile. I smile of my soft smile. My honest smile. My humble smile. My charming smile. I want her to notice me. I am in my seduction role. I'm not hitting on her, of course not. I'm just being charming so she does the same. I'm getting her used to my presence and the one of my camera.
I am here standing for a while before she finally unfolds and look at me. She is smiling. She knows. She saw me. She saw in my game. She knows what I'm waiting for. And she plays with me in return. She graciously gets back to her routine. Slower, even. I know I can shoot now. I know she is ready for this too.
So I shoot. A few shots at first. Then a few more. From time to time, I relax, she stands still, and we look at each other. And we smile. She knows that she is beautiful. Or at least, she knows that I find her beautiful. We're charming each other, in the best of ways. Enjoying the beauty of a stranger's smile, with nothing else in mind. I'm appreciating the present. We're flirting with distance. She hides behind her hat, she shyly smiles, and she makes circles in the water for me.
These situations are precious. They are rare. I cherish them. Since always. A lot of locals just don't play anymore with the million tourists. And yet, thanks to my candid but flirtatious nature, I think I get to share, once in a while, one of these magic moments with a complete stranger, before we finally nod each other good bye.