We were in Soufriere, St. Lucia with Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Lighting Workshop in Paradise. John and I heard about the Firehouse and started walking over to it to see what was going on there. We crossed a bridge on the way and realized that we were leaving the ‘tourist’ part of town. The people working and walking on the street were looking at us kind of strangely, nothing even remotely hostile, but we were really standing out as not belonging.
All of a sudden, I hear someone say “Hello! What are you doing here?” and when I look around, it’s Richiana, one of our models from the workshop the previous Monday.
She smiles, looking happy to see us, we start chatting and I ask her what she is listening to on her iPod. She gives me one of the earbuds for me to hear, and when I look up, all the people on the street are back doing their things and not paying any attention to us anymore. When we tell her that we are here to take pictures at the firehouse, she gestures over to it and says that all the firefighters are really nice.
I see this firefighter out in front, cleaning equipment and I approach her with a request to photograph her. She lights up and agrees and I ask her to pose with the jaws of life as if she is about to use them on me. This is as fierce a look as she could muster, laughing the whole time.
It was our intro into the firehouse and what developed within a few minutes when the main body of the workshop group arrived makes for a fantastic human interest story, continued in “Garvey Charlemagne, Soufrieres’ most photographed firefighter”.