Every year our little family waits for Halloween to step out of the ordinary into a little something extraordinary; because life is just that; extraordinary; until we forget. I find so much joy in planning events since my daughter was born 9 years ago and together we plot and plan and create. Last year we had the idea to create Halloween characters with her and her friends making studio portraits with them in costume and this year we will do that again. Here are a few of our favorite portraits from last year.
Every stitch on her costume, every threaded bead she decorates herself with, every wrinkle on her face plays a part in telling her story, a life so different to ours, a world so alien to 21st century culture, an existence rising out of old traditions, she belongs to a tribe that allows strangers no access. All I could capture was the sense of her presence and the few photographs that I always hope could link to the state of standing in front of these amazing people.
A woman from the Yi ethnic minority with her traditional square hat laughing with all her heart at the market after my friend showed her her image on the camera screen.
With every passing year, with each journey into the far away places, I pray that these colorful people of the world are still there, being celebrated, appreciated and not become integrated into a characterless soup of grey humanity.
The 5 tenets of Taekowndo: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, Indomitable Spirit. In the case of Lea, there is a 6th one: getting enough strength and confidence to give the kick of terror to the boy who bullies her at school.
photo: Lea in the street in Shanghai after Taekwondo class practicing some moves on her father