From Montreal to New York to Paris to Beirut—Vladimir Antaki has travelled across the globe, photographing shopkeepers in their everyday environment, dubbing them as, “the guardians of urban temples”.

These shots belong to his striking new series, “The Guardians”, which recently won the 2013 Infopresse LUX prize.

When I stumbled upon this photo set on 500px, it immediately gave me pause.

“The Guardians was born from my desire to document and pay tribute to these people […] that we meet everyday without really noticing,” says Vladimir. “I’m interested in the relationship between the environment and the attitude of the Guardians, how they position themselves in space.”

“The photos that I take are often the only memory that this “Guardian” will have of him/herself in their daily environment,” adds Vladimir. “This photo can be the only visual record of the existence of this place, the only photographic memory.”

Scroll down to see more from this series. And this time, really pay attention to the memories of these guardians of everyday commodities, captured by Vladimir Antaki.

View “The Guardians” series by Vladimir Antaki on 500px.

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