Helen, the kids and I were in Merida earlier this year – a fabulous town in Mexico worth visiting on the weekend when they shut down the town square and turn it into one big festival complete with street food, live music and more. We were having dinner one night in a local near-dive when the Hell’s Angels rolled into town. For a few minutes, the group stopped just outside our restaurant as they decided where to go next. I admired their jackets and their bikes and considered heading outside with my camera… but then it was dark and the timing seemed all wrong – they were attracting a lot of attention and the last thing I wanted to do under those circumstances was pop up with a paparazzi-like camera and start taking snapshots while the riders and the folks on the sidewalk were probably all a bit tense. At least that struck me as a bad idea at the time.
The next morning, however, I headed out for an hour or two of shooting on my own while Helen and the kids enjoyed a leisurely morning at the hotel. That’s when I saw these three guys on the street, not on their bikes. I had my camera slung around my neck and my camera pack on my back as I crossed the street and in my very basic Spanish asked if they spoke English. Not only where two of the guys from the U.S., but one of them grew up a few blocks from where I did in Washington Heights (Manhattan).
I told them I wanted a shot of their jackets, which they referred to as “Colors” (enough said) and they gave me less than 30 seconds to get a shot. I wanted the backs of their jackets – but this one guy turned to face me and that was it, the magic moment. I do like everything about how this turned out… the way it’s framed with most but not all of the guys and their jackets, the expression (or lack of expression) on the one man’s face. It all works for me.