CANDACE CASEY PHOTOGRAPHY
I discovered the Abu Dhabi Fruit and Vegetable Market one day and started shooting inside. The wholesale area covered a couple of blocks where the trailers came in and out, but one area was covered and operated on a retail basis. It was open air, building with a sliver of light coming into the space underneath the blue striped awnings. Shooting inside with available light was difficult, so I returned many times each time with more and more lighting equipment until on my last trip, I set up a full studio in a shaded part of the market.
After each attempt to shoot within the market, I returned to familiar faces and gave them each of their photographs, so after multiple visits, they were more interested in my shooting days than my shopping days.
It was a discovery to find these beautiful faces from within the darkness of the market. Suddenly when I put light on them, they turned into real people with beautiful faces from interesting places. All of them were from abroad, mostly India and Pakistan and a few Jordanians and Omani’s. Each time I shot them I understood more about them, although there was no common language. They were in Abu Dhabi, away from their, children, wives, community and when I saw them lit up, they became fathers, brothers and husbands and not just fruit vendors.
I had frequently the market so many times, that when I would arrive, I would attract their attention, and felt so welcomed that my husband started referring to them as my “Hundred Boyfriends”.