You always hear stories of people on their deathbeds wishing they had said this or that to a loved one, wished they had expressed an emotion to someone that they know they should have, and wished that they would be allowed a second chance to say what they wanted to say but had no chance to. We design our lives in a way that creates valid excuses for our silence. We trade comfort and avoidance for confrontations and human expression. Where is the freedom in that?
In some parts of the world and with the older generations, being photographed is taken quite seriously. The pose and expression are premeditated in a way that wants to show the world that they are proud of who they are, and I just love that. I remember finding old portraits of my grandmother in shoeboxes where she looked so incredibly elegant, so refined, dressed in the most elegant of clothing and in my mind this is how she lives. I only met her as a very small child and I have no other recollection of her as she lived across the oceans, so these images embody the essence of how she projected herself to the world.
I asked this lovely man to photograph him outside the old teahouse in Kashgar and he agreed but asked me to wait. He positioned the chair where he wanted it, smoothed his coat and placed his folded hands across his knees and only then he gave me the signal to go ahead.
Every single place I have been to around the world has shown me that the local people are the tarot of that place. They are the ones who process its energies, who live with the angels of that land and who give expression to its unseen worlds.
Whatever mystery and beauty radiates out of Cambodia is clearly seen twinkling in the eyes of its people, especially the children. It is their warm smiles that stay with you and make you dream of going back. Yes, it is a beauty that goes much beyond the physical surface, and their bright eyes are just gateways to a whole other world awaiting to be discovered.
photo taken: girl at the CCPP center in Sihanoukville, a fantastic project aiding Cambodian children to make a future through art. I encourage you to explore their website and their inspiring work. I will be posting quite a few photos from there this month.
There is a great power in Africa which throbs in the land like a drum beat and then spirals up through its people, radiating from every pore in their skin and fashioning a most complex range of human expression…
I look back at this photo of a girl in Goma and I see shyness, strength, pride, defiance, warmth, dignity, among so many other emotions that come at me from her face and her posture.
If you have been to Africa, you perhaps would have felt that it is a place that keeps beckoning you back, because you realize that you left a part of you there and took a small part that always tugs at you to take it back home.