The cleaner

I was in a really quiet section of Oriente station, minding my own business and shooting this lift and stairs when this cleaning lady entered from over my left shoulder, pushing the cleaning cart in front of her and parking it in the way of the shot.

I continued to fire off shots as she walked over to the left stairs, where she turned around and spent a bit of time glaring at me. I think I took 9 shots of her in this position, with the camera always raised in front of my face, before she decided to come over and say something.

She didn’t speak English, and I don’t speak Portugese, but I gathered from the way she was talking and gesturing that she didn’t wish to be photographed. We spoke for several minutes; and by ‘spoke’ I mean had a back and forth of her saying something, and me saying I don’t understand.

In the end I showed her the images on my camera, zoomed in to the tiny figure that was her and reassured her that you can’t make out details of who is in the photo.

I then showed her a few of my images on my iPad and we were suddenly the best of friends.

  • Camera: “Canon EOS 5D Mark II”
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s