The Guardians: Photographing Shopkeepers Around the World
French photographer Vladamir Antaki has embarked on an incredible journey around the world, capturing the lives of individuals you have probably never seen or even heard of before. Antaki’s photo series, “The Guardians,” is a growing collection of shopkeepers from different cities around the world. The series includes individuals from nine cities, such as Vegas, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Beirut.
Antaki describes these shops as magical, overloaded with elements, colors, and stories. But what makes these shops even more special are the characters that guard them – people who are sometimes touching, funny, quirky, and even frightening. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the fascinating shopkeepers Antaki has photographed and the stories behind them.
Mark – Montreal
One of the first shopkeepers in Antaki’s series is Mark from Montreal. Mark is a music collector and dealer who owns “Aux 33 Tours,” a vinyl records store. With his long hair, beard, and retro fashion style, Mark looks like he belongs in another era. But he is a man who is passionate about music and records, and his store is a hidden gem for music lovers.
Hagop – Beirut
Hagop is an Armenian photographer who has lived in Beirut for over thirty years. His store serves as his studio and is filled with his beautiful black and white photographs. Hagop’s store has become a meeting point for artists and photographers in Beirut. He is a gentle man, who speaks softly and treats everyone who visits his store with kindness.
Jainul – NYC
Jainul is a Muslim shopkeeper who runs a bodega in Brooklyn. Antaki describes him as a very religious person, and he makes sure to pray five times a day. Jainul’s bodega is a small store, but it is always full of life. People come in for coffee, donuts, and other convenience items. Jainul is a friendly man who always wears a smile and makes sure his customers are happy.
Marie – Montreal
Marie is a florist who runs her own flower shop in Montreal. Her store is a colorful and cheerful place, filled with the fragrance of fresh flowers. Marie has a calm and gentle presence and is often seen talking to her clients about their lives while arranging beautiful floral arrangements.
Gregor – Berlin
Gregor is a leather craftsman who owns a small store in Berlin. He is passionate about his work and is always looking for new ways to perfect it. Gregor’s store is well-known among leather enthusiasts who come from all over Europe to buy his products. Gregor’s presence exudes passion and dedication to his craft, and his store reflects that.
Phillipp – Berlin
Phillipp is a book dealer who owns a rare book store in Berlin. His store is filled with old books, maps, and other historical artifacts. Philpp’s store is a heaven for book lovers, and he takes great care of his books. He is a quiet man who is passionate about history and books and is always happy to share his knowledge with his customers.
Corey – Montreal
Corey is a carpenter who owns a woodworking shop in Montreal. His store is a haven for wood enthusiasts, where they can find beautiful custom-made furniture and other woodworking items. Corey is passionate about his work and is always looking for new ways to improve his craft. His presence is calm and positive, and his store is a reflection of his passion.
Yacek – Paris
Yacek is a Polish shopkeeper who owns a deli in Paris. His store is full of Polish and Eastern European food items that are not easy to find in Paris. Yacek’s store is a meeting point for the Polish community in Paris, and he is known for his friendly smile and warm hospitality.
David – London
David is a hat maker who runs a small store in London. His store is a quaint and very English place, filled with beautiful and stylish hats. David is passionate about his work and is always looking for new designs and materials to experiment with. He is also a charming gentleman who loves to talk about hats and fashion.
Alyssa – Montreal
Alyssa is a ceramics artist who owns her own studio in Montreal. Her store is a beautiful and colorful place, filled with unique and artistic ceramics. Alyssa is passionate about her work and is always experimenting with new designs and techniques. Her store is a reflection of her creativity and passion.
Birdman – New York
Birdman is a mysterious figure who owns a store in New York City. His store is filled with all kinds of oddities and curiosities, including exotic birds. He is called Birdman because he has a very special relationship with birds and has trained them to interact with him. Birdman’s store is a fascinating and unusual place full of surprises and mysteries.
Emily – London
Emily is a floral artist who owns a store in London. Her store is like a secret garden, filled with beautiful flowers and plants. Emily is passionate about her work and is always looking for new ways to express her creativity. Her store is a haven of peace and beauty in the midst of a bustling city.
Antaki’s photo series, “The Guardians,” is a beautiful tribute to the hardworking and passionate shopkeepers around the world. These individuals may not be famous, but they are the guardians of their respective trades and crafts, and they carry on traditions that are often lost in our modern world. Through Antaki’s lens, we get a glimpse into their lives, their personalities, and their passions. These shopkeepers may be strangers to many, but their stories are familiar and reassuring. They remind us that there are people who are still dedicated to their craft and take pride in their work. They are the unsung heroes who make our world a more interesting and vibrant place, and Antaki’s photographs capture their spirit and essence.