Hitchhikers Guide to More Empathy
Updated: Jan 1
when you're stuck in a metal box at high speeds it takes a bit of courage to be willing to let someone enter your almost intimate place. but if you give it a try there might be mutual trust building and the basis for sharing stories, experiences, feelings or simply a ride and a coffee.
i started taking portraits of strangers while travelling since 2014. back then i got picked up by a stripper, who brought me from Berlin to Dresden, Germany. i had already been taking 35mm photos for a while, so i asked her to pose for me in front of her car after we arrived (see end of slide-show below).
the 'Busking Hobo' in front of a 1979 Ford Econoline (ambulance) was waiting for a lift to the hot-springs near Nakusp in the Kootenays B.C. - its one of my favourite and most candid portraits i took over the years.
a road-trip across Canada is a challenge. if you do it in the winter its stupid. we've done it twice now in December / January, but what's even more stupid, even dangerous is the fact how selfish people are. this guy (with the blue toque and the black coat) had been waiting by the highway for two full days. after no one picked him up the day before he wandered around the small town to keep warm until the cops showed up and kicked him out - thanks to the worried citizen-asshole for keeping the neighbourhood safe by calling about him. just before nightfall the second day waiting by the road three hours from Thunder Bay, Ontario we almost drove by him, because he was hard to see. it was a bit of a squeeze with three people and two dogs in our old little beater truck (back in 2015), but the dude was great company, down on his luck and in for another night walking around after we dropped him off. we were couchsurfing at a friends house that night so we bought him a motel room. doing that didn't make me feel any better, since i'm still mad (even after three years) about all the dick-faces, who didn't care to stop for him in the middle of the winter, but i'm sure i gained some karma-points.
all photographs shot on 35mm film with different cameras (Nikon FM2 / Olympus Mju / Olympus Trip35)