A pair of hands, holding a cigarette.

A man talks on the phone, we can see in his shadow that he’s smoking.

Celebrating my first smoke-free week in 35 years, I present to you one of the many reasons why I’ve been enjoying cigarettes for so long: photos.

A man smokes inside a car.

A girl lights up a cigarette.

As I tend to shoot everything around me, of course smokers had to show up in some photos. At some point I started thinking about a series. smokingCorner, or smokingShots, something like that. Photos that only happened because I had to go somewhere to smoke. Smoking lounges, views from said lounges, smokers, whatever. It’s a part of the world that non-smokers don’t get to see. Sometimes it’s a really cool place. Most of the time it’s not, but a nice photo might be waiting.

A man smokes a cigarette while getting his feet wet on a beach. Sunset.

A woman smokes a cigarette in a cafe.

Smoking is also a convenient ice-breaker. Or an excuse to visit a konbini when you get to a new place. I’ve had great conversations over the years, ones that started over a cigarette.

A man walks by, smoking a cigarette.

A man selling fish lights up a cigarette belonging to another man. A police van drives by.

When I started working, newsrooms were smoke filled. So were restaurants. And airplanes. It’s something I don’t miss at all, smoking indoors. But I miss the time I spent talking to colleagues over coffee and cigarettes, at the balcony, looking out. We sorted many issues, solved many problems, on that room.

All that has stopped.

A man smokes a cigarette at a party.

Men smoke in an alley.

It was about time I did as well.

A couple of ashtrays, one small, one big. Empty room.

#photography #smoking