Kiss in Rio

 Many times when I have traveled to countries where people are not as financially fortunate as the people in my home country of Canada, I have felt compelled to photograph the contrast of wealth.  But what really strikes me is when I can find joy and love amongst the lacking.  This image was taken underneath an overpass in Rio De Janeiro where a group of 8 kids made their home.  I had been in Rio for a few weeks exploring the dynamic city.  I met locals who took me to places off the beaten path and went to an amazing party in a favela!  I shot this photograph while I was waiting for a bus leaving Rio to explore other parts of Brazil.  One of my local friends had escorted me and we were wasting time near the bus station when we met these enthusiastic kids underneath the overpass. They wanted me to take their photo and they were smiling and striking poses.  After a little socializing over the lunch we had given them, I found out that we were standing in their living room.  The bedroom was a few pieces of plywood wedged in the girders above our heads so they could at least sleep off of the ground. These kids had formed their own family and took care of each other because there was no one else who would.  Their bond gave them optimism even in their dire situation.  This photo is of the oldest teenagers in the group.  

When I was still shooting film stock, my favourite travel camera was a Leica M6.  The camera is small, unobtrusive and does not look nearly as expensive it is, which makes it perfect if you want to “fly under the radar”, on the street.  My Leica was loaded with fuji positive film.  


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