Seconds before this was taken, Lucía Mara had chased the woman down New York’s Third Avenue. It was the Argentinian photographer’s last day in the city and she was running late to a meeting before her flight home to Buenos Aires.
It was a sunny October day, bright after a night of rain, and the early afternoon light had illuminated the woman’s violet hair just as Mara, who studied photography and film at the University of California, passed by. She abandoned thoughts of her meeting and took off in pursuit, then, breathless, requested permission to take a photo. The woman, she says, was “ecstatic”.
“I took this picture while she was still reacting to my question. I liked how her full-blown expressiveness matches her bold hair, and how the green window display reflects in her sunglasses. I’m always drawn to reflections, shadows, windows, doors and the visual multiplicity and ways of seeing that they offer,” Mara says.
She believes she works at a much slower and more deliberate pace when using a normal camera. “Looking through a viewfinder somehow changes my rhythm; I even breathe differently,” she says. “With a phone, I’m less rigorous. There is an immediacy and a spontaneity which allows for the unexpected. This moment was all about her.”