The old man turns to look at me from where he sits and from eyes that are hooded with age he starts to smile. It is a gentle and knowing smile, a smile from a man that has grown very comfortable in his own skin. He has paused for the moment in his gentle banter, his back and forth with the woman who is cutting his hair. They have clearly been doing this a long time. This Saturday morning ritual where he comes and sits and she stands and cuts and they both talk. He knows the names of the children who are in pictures pasted on the mirror and she knows exactly how low his hairline should be at the back of his neck so that it does not rub on the collars of his shirts; he hates that. They share a quiet knowing intimacy that has never extended beyond this chair and these Saturday mornings but it is, nevertheless, important for each of them. They are friends.
As a photographer, imposing yourself into these kinds of situations can be intimidating and difficult. I have, however, found that people are usually willing to engage in some conversation and will let you you photograph them. That was sure the case with these two I had to force myself to go in and talk to them but once I did we had a great time and I got some amazing portraits of them. For more on the story of this portrait and another shot from this series check out this post.