Mi regalo de cumpleaños de Henri // My birthday present from Henri (by Martine Franck)

Era mi cumpleaños y Henri (Cartier-Bresson) me preguntó qué me gustaría como regalo. Le dije que sería muy feliz si dibujaba un autoretrato de sí mismo. Se puso directamente a trabajar. Se sentó en la cama con un espejo fijado frente a él, yo estaba literalmente tumbada viendole trabajar cuando de repente vi la imagen triple que se produjo. Me escabullí para coger mi Leica M3 con una lente de 35mm, estaba tan concentrado y enfocado en lo que hacía que creo que ni siquiera se dió cuenta de que lo había fotografiado.

No publiqué la fotografía hasta su 90 cumpleaños cuando Ferdinando Scianna le convenció de que me permitiera publicar una selección de “instantáneas” que había hecho de él en los últimos años.

Incluso yo desconfiaba de fotografiar a Henri ya que sabía que no le gustaba mucho. Algo después un día me pidió que hiciera una foto de carnet de sí mismo y desde entonces mantuvimos la broma entre nosotros: “sólo una foto de pasaporte”.

//

It was my birthday and Henri (Cartier-Bresson) asked me what I would like as a present. I told him that I would be so happy if he would make an autoportrait of himself in drawing. He went straight to work. He sat on our bed with a mirror posed in front of himself, I was literally lying back watching him when all of a sudden I saw the triple image that ensued. I slipped away to grab my Leica M3 with a 35mm lens, he was so concentrated and focused on what he was doing that I don’t think he even realised that I had photographed him.

I did not publish the photograph until his 90th birthday when Ferdinando Scianna persuaded him to allow me to publish a selection of “snapshots” I had made of him over the years.

Even I was wary of photographing Henri as I knew he did not really like it. Then one day he asked me to make a passport photograph of himself and from then on it was a joke between us: “just a passport photo”.

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