4 weeks ago
I shot this portrait on my first trip to cusco, #peru, while on one of my first assignment for @outsidemagazine
in 2004. i had met the man pictured during a lunch break in a small local restaurant. we started to talk and after some time, he offered to drive me to some places of interest around cusco. with my usual #enthusiasm
about traveling in a new country i agreed— little did i know what i had gotten myself into. the following day we met at a location and we started to drive outside cusco. by the end of that day i had a gun pointed at my face, was beaten up, my jaw dislocated from direct blows to my face, and then left unconscious on a deserted, dusty countryside road. all my photo equipment and belongings including my watch— were stolen by my driver and three of his accomplices who had planned a trap for me in an isolated area on the outskirts of cusco. because i was alone, and had just flown back from asia a few days earlier before arriving in peru, i had extreme jet lag, and that combined with the dizziness caused with the high altitude in cusco, made me an extremely easy target. this picture and roll of film i had shot him on happened to still be in the safe back at the hotel and would later help the police catch him and his friends. traveling alone, camera in hand, to document a remote part of the world, one becomes an easy target, and extremely vulnerable. that difficult and unpleasant experience taught me a lot about the way i was traveling and my interaction with my surroundings, but never took away my enthusiasm to travel the world and my faith in humanity. more than once during my #travels
in foreign lands, i have been taken care of by complete strangers who made sure i was safe and protected. without those strangers, i could have been caught in similar terrible situations. we live in a beautiful world.
i am now back in #cusco, and this time, traveling with a crew of 25 people. #onassignment @artdeptagency @northernspyproductions #aroundtheworldin21days