I love markets… For their boundless vibrancy. Their towering displays of food. The sense of community. The people watching potential.
As tempting as it is, I try not to take too many portraits of people unawares. I’ll snap a few discreet, surreptitious shots but mainly I’ll ask – striking up a conversation first. Otherwise, I’ll just focus on photos not taken.
Like the man selling raw animal hides from the hood of his pickup truck. Or the woman offering a bouquet of peacock feathers, sold to spruce up felt hats. The travelling salesman, sporting a natty headset and speaker, around which a curious, countryside crowd have gathered. A young girl offering technicoloured ice cream from a styrofoam box, bobbing gently, her baby bundled in a shawl on her back. A well-wrinkled elder, presiding over vials and vats of mysterious medicines, and sprigs of aromatic herbs.
Pigs, fish, cuy slow cooking over charcoal; wafting smoke and sizzling sounds. The three dozen bananas still on their thick stork; a perfect handle for carrying. Cries of prices, louder as midday draws closer. Twenty oranges for a dollar! The latest cure for 21st stress! Potatoes, corn, carrots, all the fresh goodness you could need for the perfect sopita.
Stripey ponchos. Plain ponchos. Chequered ponchos. At 6’1″, I feel like an awkward giant amongst old ladies bent double.