Five years ago, Amsterdam-based street fashion photographer Barbara Iweins decided that she wanted to get to know the fascinating strangers she captured on camera.
So she did.
'Au Coin de ma Rue', or 'At the Corner of my Street', is a multi-year project exploring how Iweins' relationship with her subjects has changed as she got to know them better. Iweins told indy100:
At first it was a selfish sociological experiment. I thought that meeting them a few times in my life would not change my perspective towards them. But very quickly, a feeling of trust and complicity started to grow. I realised that’s what happens when people are no longer anonymous people any more. We start caring for them.
The yearly portraits - with possessions, friends, and hugging Iweins herself - are intimate and lively.
Perhaps the most striking is year four, where Iweins photographed her subjects at 7am, when they'd just woken up, and 7pm.
Either they spent the night at Iweins', or she went around to wake them up:
Entering their place as a burglar to wake them up was... quite an experience.
The funny small thing I realised is that I thought I would have 20 minutes to shoot the expression of a person waking up but actually no, the uninhibited glaze in the eyes of a person disappears in five minutes... Behind my camera I could really see in a matter of seconds that the person was taking his face, his body back in control. The vulnerable human being was gone.
The results are below:
Iweins has moved to Brussels, and is planning to catch up with the same subjects every five years from now on.
To check out the other portraits in 'Au Coin de ma Rue' and Iweins' other work, visit her website here.