Thursday, March 9, 2017

3 Friends + Students, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2017


Just two days ago this image was made, thanks to the beautiful students at this madrasa... and of course our hosts Imdadullah Nadvi Nadvi and Munshad Ali Chauhan. The students were playing around with expressions after our formal session, and made groups of two and three in the process.

Some would look at the camera while some would look at me, or my shaved head if the hat was off. The expressions varied greatly, as in this image alone. Every time we informed the girls that now the smaller camera would be used, and that it was time to make group photographs... the gloves were off.

Poor Mukesh Poswal would have his hands full, with almost 30 girls speaking at the same time and asking to be photographed next. This session was recorded with a video camera as well, and is a treasure to behold. The colors are almost as vibrant as the girls, and their love for each other.

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Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Best Friends + Madrasa, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2017


After our photography these days we include a spontaneous session as well, inviting the girls to let loose truly and be with their best friends. In contrast to the single, formal portraits... the variation in these images has been most enlightening. It is a way for these girls to be themselves, to have fun with poses and gestures. They are truly having a blast, and cannot help themselves!

Over and over again they ask for the opportunity to try something different, and when two see what another two have done... they want to do better. It is wonderful to see, the smiles are infectious!

The begin to hold hands, to hug each other, to show their affections without worry. The reactions are marvelous to witness.

The excitement is in the air as this madrasa prepares to include a fuller curriculum, and the students can feel it. These girls share their smiles with us, with those of us especially who have come forward to take part in this effort. On behalf of these girls I share my personal gratitude.

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Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Young Student + Landscape, Madhya Pradesh, India, 2016


Last year we had the privilege of visiting MP with the guidance of Humana India. Thanks to Mukesh Poswal, we were able to make some memorable portraits. Mainly we visited schools set up by Humana India, in order to help out of school children mainstream into the government system. We were able to visit more than a dozen schools... and make include the children in the photography.

My hope is that these children were able to mainstream into the existing school system, and that the work of Humana People to People India benefited the communities in the intended manner. Perhaps next year we will be able to visit once again, and thanks to that visit we will be able to proceed with the program in Uttar Pradesh in a more learned manner.

This past week we have had fruitful conversations with the four communities and hope to proceed as planned. In one village the existing madrasa is poised to include a formal curriculum, while in the other three sewing classes have been discussed as an entry into the communities. For those of you who have donated your efforts on behalf of this movement, we thank you and will share images soon.

We began with one, and now have four included in the conversation!


Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Young Student + Kitchen, Panipat, Haryana, 2017


This past week was spent in Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh, and we were beyond fortunate to have been hosted by our dear friends Imdadullah Nadvi Nadvi and Ch Munshad Ali Chauhan. These two brothers have given us so much since our first meeting in 2013, and continue to do so with an introduction to this young student's school.

Her portrait was made just yesterday, and for most of you earlier today. She and her friends have taken part in my photography for the past two years, and have now joined our family of schools thanks to the generosity of two dozen people here on Facebook. We will begin sewing classes for the older girls in the school, as well as their sisters from the villages. Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team will also begin training the teachers in her school, and we hope improve relations between the two communities in the region through this collaboration.

In this portrait she was photographed in front of the school's kitchen, with the use of a reflector thanks to the brilliant work of Mukesh Poswal. This good man helped me make portraits of the children in the region over the past week... without his assistance none of it would have been possible. We also were able to record her voice as she performed for us in the school's mosque, a true honor indeed.

Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Student in Madrasa, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2017


This past week we made this young girl's portrait in a field adjacent to her school. We visited her madrasa with the guidance of our host on a beautiful afternoon. She and her friends attend religious classes in the village madrasa, and we hope soon that she will have the opportunity to attend a small school with a full curriculum as well.

A few months ago two dozen of you came together to help fund a movement in this region, and this week it is taking form. One village is ready for this change, and her village is the second one to also come forward. We hope to continue the discussions this week and provide more information regarding the implementation of your generous efforts.

On her and all of the girls' behalf, we thank all of you.


Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Students + Landscape, MP, India, 2016


Last year we had the privilege of visiting MP with the guidance of Humana India. Thanks to Mukesh Poswal, we were able to make some memorable portraits. Mainly we visited schools set up by Humana India, in order to help out of school children mainstream into the government system. We were able to visit more than a dozen schools... and make include the children in the photography.

My hope is that these children were able to mainstream into the existing school system, and that the work of Humana People to People India benefited the communities in the intended manner. Perhaps next year we will be able to visit once again, and thanks to that visit we will be able to proceed with the program in Uttar Pradesh in a more learned manner.

This past week we have had fruitful conversations with the four communities and hope to proceed as planned. In one village the existing madrasa is poised to include a formal curriculum, while in the other three sewing classes have been discussed as an entry into the communities. For those of you who have donated your efforts on behalf of this movement, we thank you and will share images soon.

We began with one, and now have four included in the conversation!


Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Young Student, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2016


Tomorrow morning, Indian time, we head to the Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh to meet our Muslim brethren and begin the work so many of you have supported. Two dozen from my FB circle, and a few from this very Google+ network, have come together, including entire classrooms of children, to help make this happen... and tomorrow we join Nirvana Bodhisattva and team in doing so!

Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Reunion with Young Girl, Rajasthan, India, 2017


Just an hour or so ago a portrait was made of an 'old' friend, although she was unknown to me at that very moment. We had arranged to stop by her house earlier this week, and make portraits of her and her sisters. As we walked to her home we gathered quite a following and decided to photograph them outside of her home, so as to allow her family some peace during their session.

So we began with the neighbors' children, and made portraits just outside of her home. About 20 minutes through the session a young girl walked into the scene from down the street, with a scarf covering the lower half of her face. There was something about her that made me feel that she knew me, and vice versa. I asked to photograph her and she agreed quickly. Everyone thought that she should uncover her face, but this look intrigued me immensely and she was photographed as she presented.

My curiosity got the best of me halfway through however, and I asked if she would allow a portrait without the scarf. She smiled with her eyes and slowly uncovered herself, revealing to me that she was the very girl we came to photograph. When she saw my reaction, she smiled even more so!

It was the most amazing moment of my visit so far, as we reminisced about our time four years ago, and six years ago when her first portrait was made. We quickly gathered our things and walked to her home so that we could make portraits of her and her sisters before the sun set. The rest of the evening was spent talking about our past experiences, and making photographs for the family and friends.

On our way out her father invited us back for dinner, and such was accepted of course. She never looked away from us as we walked down the street, covered as in this portrait the entire time. We continued to walk and she then caught up to us, passing us quickly all of a sudden. When we turned the corner, there she was with two pieces of candy in her little hands. She ran past us quickly to get to the store before we did, to share those sweet gifts with us.

What an amazing afternoon, and soon to be dinner with her and her family!

Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Three Students + School, Nirvanavan Foundation, Rajasthan, India, 2017


So the work has begun, and we have visited two schools thus far in Rajasthan. These are the very schools which a dozen of you have come forward to support, and these are three of the students. Two have been enrolled in the school for years, following in their sisters' footprints... and one is new. The smiles on their faces say it all!

Thank you Nirvana and the magical twelve!