Global Lens Reflections on life, the universe, and everything

Brazil boy

Rodrigo Mello, an outreach worker for the Street Children Project in Sao Bernardo do Campo, talks with 11-year old Gabriel Acevedo Silva in the doorway of the boy's home as his mother, Elismar do Nacimiento Acevedo, listens. The mirror on the wall shows another Project staff member, Leonardo Duarte.

Sometimes there are a lot of people in a scene, and trying to fit them all in gets complicated. I feel the urge to grab people and start moving them around because the light is better over here, the scene is more balanced if you stand there, etc. And then there are times when it all fits together, naturally, and I can simply relax and be a photographer and not a director, documenting reality rather than creating something else. In this case, Rodrigo Mello, an outreach worker for the Street Children Project in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, is talking with 11-year old Gabriel Acevedo Silva in the doorway of the boy's home as his mother, Elismar do Nacimiento Acevedo, listens. The mirror on the wall shows the face of another Project staff member, Leonardo Duarte, whose legs you see in the right side of the frame. I couldn’t back up anymore—it was a small room—so I couldn’t fit them all in without the help of the mirror. I like how it all fits together. The bright light coming in the doorway providing the high contrast silhouette of the boy as a focal point and then spilling softly into the rest of the room. The downward look of the chastised Gabriel, the loving but trying to be stern mother, the friendly and encouraging social worker, the ghost of Leonardo hovering nearby. . . Sometimes it all comes together.

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