Monday, June 14, 2010

Girl, Student, Humana People to People, Near Virat Nagar, Rajasthan, India, November 19, 2009

Once again, the note on the roll of film tells me that this portrait is the 8th exposure from the 11th roll of film. The background is that of a white wall. Behind her and to her right, a woman is working a fire, away from the frame of the portrait.

During her portrait, she is both serious and funny, most of the time the latter dominates the former. Her laugh is infectious, helps everyone around us laugh when she does. Even the older men laugh and then poke fun at her. To my surprise, she pokes fun back at them with an attitude rarely seen by me in a young girl from this culture.

Her village is away from the beaten path and it takes us at least thirty minutes over rough terrain to arrive. She and her friends are performing chores and gather themselves the instant we arrive for their portraits. We arrive early in the morning, almost before the sun has risen.

We walk to the end of the village and, to our pleasant surprise, we find a home with a glorious white wall, and with the sun directly striking it. We set up our equipment after receiving permission from the owners of the house. The setting is quite private and enables the girls to feel comfortable. The older men are quite gentle and allow the girls to express themselves both in expressions and in their choice of clothing. Many of the girls are dressed in their traditional attire but some of the girls have chosen other styles.

In this image, she is in between expressions. The film is exposed while she is trying to regain her composure. She is perfect before, during and after this image.