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Photographer Caroll Taveras Shares Her Portraits of the Games’ Lost Pilgrims

Rescuing misplaced medal-winning athletes and spectators from the East End’s jumble of side streets, Caroll Taveras documents the varied faces that have flocked to London to see and compete in this summer’s Olympics. In collaboration with Shoreditch-based creative agency Mother, Taveras shepherded the lost visitors she found back to her studio space a few miles from the Olympic park to offer a comforting cup of tea in return for taking their portraits. Some of the illustrious participants passing before Taveras’s lens include Serbian Olympic swimmer George Markovic, American Olympic Basketball player and NBA star Tyson Chandler, and Alaaeldin Abouelkassem, an Egyptian fencer who won the silver in the foil this week. Dominican Republic-born Taveras began photographing local sitters in a formal studio set up after the Obama inauguration in 2009, taking over a shop front and capturing 250 Brooklyn denizens over the course of two months. Recreating the intimate environment of the local portraiture studios popular in the early 20th century, Taveras shoots on a large format camera and lets her subjects dictate their poses. “I allow space for them to be who they are. I may ask them to hold their head in a certain way, but that’s pretty much it,” she explains. “I’m looking for an interesting photo, which usually happens when people are themselves.”



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