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I’m a man and I want to talk about something: my emotions.
As your grandfather probably told you: men don’t cry. And still today in many societies, cultures, relationships, and frat parties, it’s not considered particularly acceptable for men or even women to be honest about their emotions. If a woman cries in public, people will crowd around to reassure her or try to get her to stop. And a new mother’s main goal is to get her child to not exhibit any emotion besides happiness because loud babies are thought of as out of control.
But we’re human. Sadness, loneliness, happiness, gratitude and love are all apart of being alive, a wonderful part at that. What happens when we don’t let all that out?
During a six-month visit to Kingston, Jamaica, my house was across the street from a Pentecostal church. It’s not very surprising since Jamaica has the most churches of any country per capita in the world. Every day in the afternoon I would hear sermons and music through shouts and cries. Every. Day. I had to go in and see what it was about.
Like you would imagine, the church-going people welcomed me in. As the sermon began, a rain storm started beating on the tin roof creating the perfect backbeat to the preacher’s thick voice. As he built his sermon through the old set up speakers people started to stand, raising hands and calling back. The preacher’s voice continued to crescendo, and before long most of the church was on their feet.
Some were crying in pain. Some were overcome with tears of joy. And some were expressing emotions I’d never seen or felt before. By the end, people were rolling on the ground, unleashing huge wails of sadness, pain, joy and gratitude.
AND why not?
Its good to know there is a place where people can go to completely let it all out. I have done many shoots in my life all over the world and this was one of the most intense and authentic. I have so much gratitude for these people that allowed my to photograph them.