One hour from Kashgar, along the old silk road and just before the start of the Karakoram highway, lies a small village called “Opal”. In the middle of the hustle of the village market, the busy bread stalls, the people milling around and moving goods from place to place, I saw this pretty woman with the amber eyes. She stood there in the sunlight near a row of trees, alone, maybe waiting for someone. I approached, we did not speak, I looked at her, she looked back, I flet a silent agreement from her to photograph her, so I did. After clicking several frames I had the strangest feeling that with some people, as you photograph them, they are photographing you back. Her eyes were steady and piercing, blinking occasionally, just like a camera would. Weren’t cameras fashioned after human eyes in the first place?
It was a Sunday morning in Goma and we had spent the early morning in the medical center meeting and photographing refugee children. The children and their parents had nothing but rags on, some had bandages, very tired faces and exhausted smiles.
And then driving back on the black volcanic streets of the city I was startled to see this beautiful girl. She was immaculately styled as she crouched there playing with dry reeds on the ground and waiting for her parents to walk together to church.
The best moments in photography are the ones that just happen when everything comes together without much planning and I love this photograph for just that fact.
I have always wondered about the mystery of attraction. What makes a face attractive or pretty? We all have heads with hair, a nose, eyes, ears, a chin, a temple, cheeks ,a mouth, teeth… so what are the variables that cause these features to come together in a certain way to deem a person attractive or not. What other influences are at play? Size? Proportion? Fashion?
Isn’t it strange that a face can be viewed as pretty by the majority of people who see it and another quite similar face isn’t?
This girl’s boyfriend saw me with the camera on the street in Shanghai and asked me very proudly to photograph his friend, obviously totally smitten by her glowing face.
In China, Shanghainese women are famed for their elegance, beauty, strength of character and sense of fashion.
I was walking the alleys of Pudong this afternoon when I was struck with this young woman’s beauty and elegant pose looking at me through the glass window.