Sunday, June 19, 2011

One With Clear Eyes, Outside of Havana, Cuba, July, 2010

Many have seen her since the first portrait back in 2005.

In that portrait she walks out of the water, barely allows her hair to dry and sits down on the sidewalk across from the famous Malecon to let a complete stranger make her portrait in less than five minutes.

On this day and five years later, she stands in front of her house early in the morning with her hair up and gives me two hours to make her portrait. She wakes up by 7:00 a.m. on a summer morning and walks back from her friend's house for us.

The day before, she tells me with a smile: 'You can come back as many times as you like.'

I thought she was lost on me two years before, as she experienced the turbulence of her teenage years. Although still a teenager in this portrait, she displays a calmness beyond her years. While my hands fumble around for the next roll of film in excitement, she smiles and chuckles.

If she is the only person in Cuba to photograph, she is reason enough for me to go in less than two weeks. She is the girl with the clear eyes, and this is just the beginning of her story.

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Halim Ina Photography