25 years ago, I went to Mauritius to shoot a swim-suit catalog. Kind of a dream assignment as we were staying at the Club Med, quite a beautiful accomdation and location for this type of photography. We did that for 12 days without going out in the island. Butwhen the work was done and the client happy, we had 4 days to do the most interesting, driving around and meeting people.
That was a dream came true We met the most friendly people in the world, always smiling and welcoming you all the time. But the most amazing thing was that they were asking for photographs. I was walking with my camera and they were yelling at me “come, please make my photo”. 4 dream days and a lot of memorable moments and images.
One of the greatest moments was to meet these sugar cane workers.. In a 35celcius temperature, they were carrying heavy loads of sugar cane on their shoulders. I spent two hours walking around them, making images. I never hears a lament or a complain. They only had some tiny breaks to drink water and back to work.
One thing only disturbed me a little, it was the Foreman watching them all the time. I had a small talk with him and asked him what exactly was his role. “I am here to see if nothing wrong happens as it is a very diificult and exhausting job. I did their job a big part of my life and I am here to help.”
The most amazing thing was that they had to do everything with their bare hands. They had no machines at that time.