The BFFAD Project started in Istanbul in July 2016.
As I was wandering through the city after the military coup d'etat from the previous night, looking for impressions and images, I met Anna, a young « Lara-Croft-like-photographer », (her work) walking around, doing the same like me. We started to chat and share our opinions about the situation in Turkey, about traveling and of course, a lot about photography.
As we were on Taksim square, shooting people waving flags, honking and singing, she said something which changed my life and follows me today as a project to meet and share with people around the world.
She said that she likes meeting those people you share a few hoursor a day with but will maybe never see again. But the time spent, the stories shared, the experienced told, makes it feel like having a best friend… for a day. Similar feeling, similar emotions, similar pleasure.
I then kept the idea in mind, kept going with my trip and discovered that it even goes further and deeper. So I decided to quit the social media platforms I used to be addicted to. Erased my almost 10 years old facebook account and its round 6-8’000 followers, as well as instagram, twitter, pinterest and started challenging my self, looking for what would happen…
The result was very surprising. A tiny little bunch of people contacted me to see if I’m, at least still alive. Some were mad at me for not sharing with them anymore, calling me selfish…
Well, I don’t see myself as selfish, for giving more value to human contact in the real life than sharing with millions of people I don’t know and who - let’s be honest - don’t care at all who I am. I met a very interesting guy in Phuket, originally from Canada, who asked me if it’s not dangerous as a photographer, not to be online… actually, what do you prefer, did I reply, 10’000 followers or 10 good customers, 10 real friends?
What also appears in these last months, is that people who follow you in the virtual world, don’t really contact you for sharing a drink or a meal. They see what you publish, what you do, what you think (as long as you publish it) and don’t really find the need of sharing it in the real life anymore. And I used to be one of them. Today, it’s a pleasure to think about friends and just send them a message to see how they are, where they are, what they do, how they feel. Like it was 20 years ago :-)
This project has no other purpose or goal, than to enjoy time with fabulous people, without expectation, without looking for more. We don’t even need to stay connected. We can just keep the great memories. Why not going through life EVERY day with this in mind? Why not taking time to shake a real hand, give a smile to a beautiful woman on the street for no other reason than to show her a happy face. And if you want to share, drop me a line, give me a call, let’s spend time together and laugh, smile, talk about philosophy and allow me to have a picture of you in my collection of amazing people :-)
So, almost all pictures you'll find in here, were taken after having spent time with all those amazing people, because I'm not looking for headshots of random people, I want them to tell you a story through their eyes, through their smiles, and hopefully, you can tell how good our connection was. I'm grateful I had the privilege to meet so many incredible people and hope the journey will never end...
Thank you for taking the time to read those lines and showing interest to this project.
Hope to meet you soon