It is not enough to love your camera, to love photography and to love travel. Good portraits are about loving people, other humans, those that co-inhabit our earth. Looking at them with compassion, togetherness, curiosity and the wish to belong to this fascinating and colorful range of humanity.
In my journeys into the remote villages of China’s Yunnan province, I was moved by the closeness of the older generation with the children of the tribe. Physical proximity seemed to be an easement factor relied upon in raising the children and arming them with needed confidence as they developed. Parents and grandparents went about their busy workdays with toddlers literally tied to their bodies in colorful embroidered sacks.
Something to consider in our modern world where gadgets are slowly taking the place of our warm human hugs.
Have you ever noticed how children can change expressions so fast without being hung up on the effects of each emotion they experience? We adults tend to carry baggage through our emotions that causes us to often hold grudges, feel anger, thoughts of contempt, attachment, jealousy, animosity… the list goes on. When children fight, they are able to make up in a split second and whilst we are still wondering how to solve the problem they are already hugging and running off to play again.
When I first arrive a new and foreign place, the first thing I am drawn to is what looks at me through the faces of the people. I feel that the spirit of the land lives in its people and through their eyes and their faces it portrays its theater. Kashgar and its people are innocent, friendly, welcoming, hospitable, kind, inviting, humble, simple, religious, traditional, and very childlike. The old city is a magical maze of amazing architecture, carvings, mosques, cobble stone roads, and the people are in tune with their land and its spirits. They live by code and almost everything they do is done with meaning and purpose behind it. Down to how the door of their home is opened, half open, with a curtain, both sides open, or close, all mean different things as to who (husband, guests, ..etc) is in the house at that moment.
Tomorrow we visit very early a village on the way to the high mountains, called Opal. What secrets does a village like this hold??