William Vázquez is an advertising, portrait & documentary photographer based in New York, USA.

Creating memories

Women who work to fertilize the rice fields with cow manure.  Bhutan.

Women who work to fertilize the rice fields with cow manure. Bhutan.

To me there is nothing more satisfying to be a witness or a protagonist in those moments that leave a memory for yourself or others.  Whether its witnessing a birth in a tent in the terrible aftermath of a Typhoon or just being a welcome distraction to someones day. For example these ladies were working in the rice fields in Bhutan. We had seen them from a distance away so we crossed the fields to investigate. As we approach they ignore me. I start photographing them and basically begin to be a distraction (something I do well). After a while curiosity takes over and they start talk talking to me through my guide asking what I was doing there and what do I want. I said I want nothing except to spend a little time with them and learn about them. In those moments of sharing you get little random tidbits that make like special. One tidbit that stood out is that they like smear cow manure on faces of any love interest. Just to show if you love me you can handle this....

As we left they shouted "I love you!" My daughter who was with me says to me. "I am going to tell mommy!" I told her, I think they just want to smear cow manure on my face.

I like to think that in those few minutes we spent together they will have a strong memory of the encounter. It certainly did for me.