This is Willy, he has been working as a chef in different restaurants in Italy for 38 years. We met at Gastarea - Il Ristorante in Castel San Pietro Terme, where he is currently delighting the guests with both traditional and innovative dishes. His pastas and onions served with side herbs on fire are exquisite.
Willy came to our table to say hi and check on our impressions. As he was walking around the table listening, I couldn't get my eyes from his friendly face. It struck me he looks a bit like Ernest Hemingway, when similar age.
I thought now or never!
Through a translator I asked, if he agrees for a portrait and invited him to a spot I quickly arranged in a quieter corner of the restaurant, grabbing a nearby chair, next to this large window serving as a light source.
Communicating through gestures of hands (being in Italy in the end!) I created a few portraits of him having the black and white tones in mind.
With a big Grazie 😊 I thanked Willy and then worked on the portrait at home. It begged for black and white interpretation of this scene, which makes his eyes and facial features stand out.
Carpe Diem, the next opportunity may never come!
Let me know in comments on social media what was the latest situation you had, when opening up to a stranger?