In my first photo project I somehow explored the relationship I developed with many of theses professionals: in the beginning of 2017 I spent two months in Iraq registering the photographers covering the war against the Islamic State. I tried to show how each photographer was either focusing on a particular aspect of the conflict, exploring side stories that helped understand the reasons for it, or was putting his personal eye on something more people were focusing on. To my joy and pride, the work ended up published in the Portfolio section of National Geographic Brazil, as well as in roadsandkingdoms.com (http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2017/image-makers-a-qa-with-cristina-veit/)
Claudine Doury’s “The Sensitive Eye” was the first photo workshop I attended and it was a challenging experience. I chose this particular workshop because, besides being very drawn to the intimacy and beauty of Claudine’s photos, I was interested to hear about her path from photo editor to photographer. I also wanted some feedback on my work, as well as to discuss new directions and possibilities of what and how to keep on photographing.
For the workshop I produced “The Garden”, a series of photos taken at a communal garden in Tempelhofer Feld – Berlin’s abandoned airport that has been turned into a park. I was attracted by this improvised urban landscape and the people who visit it. The garden structures, such as the benches and the beds where plants and vegetables are grown, are built from found and recycled materials and organized into small allotments. Visitors use these spaces for relaxation while members of the garden can be seen working on them. In the vast and arid space that are the old runways of the airport, this garden has a welcoming cozy atmosphere, and at the same time, slightly decadent air – which I tried to evoke by photographing the most unusual visitors, avoiding cute kids and families.
I loved doing the workshop, it was an intense experience, but I’m not very excited about the my final work. It was the first time I worked with a deadline – and a short, two days one. Also I’m not used to approach people and ask to take their picture – in Iraq I was part of the environment and was able to work without asking permission. So most of the portraits lack the intimacy I was so eager to achieve, after having seen Claudine’s work on the first day. I also was not able to produce something less ‘reportage’ which I had been discussing with Claudine as maybe a new approach for my work as a photographer.