The Joy of Cooking

Yesterday I finally started my project/photographic essay: Joy. I started with a friend who I see every day: Hristijana. She is a wonderful human being with an energy that can turn anyone’s bad vibes into a great mood. When I decided to do Joy, she was one of the first people I thought of to participate in the project.

Hristijana’s Joy is cooking. In our brief interview, she said how she had to learn how to cook when her mother had become ill and she was still a teenager. It was not joyous at all for her to cook for her entire family back in Yugoslavia (now Macedonia). It stopped feeling like a chore and started becoming a Joy to her as she understood the importance of the family sitting to have meals together: the power of the social family rituals.

I’ve been cooking since a very young age and it wasn’t a love affair from start, it was… I had to step into the shoes of my mom who was sick with cancer and I had to suddenly become the mom, the daughter, the sister, the niece, the granddaughter.

Hristijana Markovska

It was with great humility that I accepted photographing Hristijana in her home and sharing a meal with her and her family. The conditions (space for the off-camera speed light) were less than ideal, but the overall experience was more than what I could have asked for. Thank you Hristijana for allowing me to share this Joy with you.

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