"Beautiful camera" were the only words I was able to mumble when I ran into Louis Mendes on Prince Street late October in 2015.
I've read plenty of articles about Louis, seen him mentioned in documentaries, but never actually ran into him when roaming the streets in Lower Manhattan. Louis is a New York street photographer who is known for his unique style/camera; a Speed Graphic camera with flash bulbs and a polaroid back.
Luckily Louis responded with a smile and said something along the lines of "it takes even more beautiful photos if you let me" and soon we were engaged in a deep conversation about cameras, film and photography in general. At the end of our conversation I had my portrait taken by him, a polaroid print that I still have today, and in exchange I took his portrait as well.
If you run into him in NYC, have your picture taken by him. It's a souvenir worth having.
I processed the film at home using a C41 kit and a technique known as "bleach bypass". I was quite nervous. It was the first time I tried this technique and it was the only photo I took of Louis.