Being that Valentine's Day is almost upon us, I thought it was fitting to make Heiko Waechter's profound street photo today's Pic of the Day. Ever since I first interviewed Heiko, he and I have kept in touch.
“I had walked past this spot a few times and liked the look of the LOVE letters in the windows of the flower shop,” Heiko shares with us. “It's part of the new Myer Department Store Redevelopment which opened end of last year. All new and shiny. So yesterday, I happened to walk past with camera in hand. Originally I had intended to take a photo of the LOVE letters with interesting people walking through the shot.
“And then I saw him sitting there.
“I don't know his name. He's a homeless person who's been around the city for years. I sometimes give him money. He's very polite and quiet. You could say that I've grown somewhat attached to him. Having lived in the city for years, you notice permanent fixtures, people that are always around, they become part of your immediate environment. Having him in the shot added an interesting and personal dimension. It's Valentine's Day so it's all about love and flowers and pretty things. Everything in the flower shop is set up for the big onslaught of people buying flowers for their beloved ones. And here you have a homeless person sitting in front of the shop window, being ignored by people around him, and probably not caring a whole lot about Valentine's Day.
“The image has slightly melancholic undertones for me and an interesting contrast: Warm and inviting on the inside of the shop; big letters, pretty flowers, modern shopfront and, on the outside, my homeless guy living from day to day. I'm sure nobody will buy him flowers today. In that regard, I am quite attached to the shot. It contains an urban setting that I find aesthetically interesting, but also has somebody in it that I somehow care about. The title (Dearly Beloved) is trying to encapsulate that, playing on the Valentine's theme but also a shout-out to the unnamed man, and my way of giving him a little bit of attention and love…on Valentine's Day.”