Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lebanon, August 5, 2009

Photography in Lebanon begins on this day, in one of the first Bedouin camps visited by me over twelve years ago. There is much energy, much anticipation since having received the prints just two days ago. They are also aware that this year they will receive their photographs next week, all are very happy at this prospect, rather than waiting an entire year for their portraits.

We begin by walking to the back of the camp, away from the road and near tall grasses. Some have never seen me before, many have. We set up a small chair and begin. The boys are allowed first this time, making it a bit easier actually. They are very cooperative, and help with the photography when it’s time for the girls.

Many of the girls have seen me before, some from last year and a few from over seven years ago. They look too young to remember me but they certainly do. One small boy remembers his portrait from behind his family’s tent, over seven years ago. He is about eleven years old maybe. Having photographed here for over a decade gives me a sense of time that few places can offer.

We finish with some color portraits, something they are all looking forward to receiving next week. The girls are amazing, knowing that men are looking at them, they ignore everyone around them and concentrate on the camera with laser precision, changing outfits over a span of about an hour or so. It’s a revelation, even after a decade.

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Halim Ina Photography