Saturday, November 10, 2012

Older Woman, Dancing, Humana People to People India, Rajasthan, India, November 18, 2009

As she sat for her portrait she danced, moving her  hands about and giggling like a little girl. While she lives in one of the traditional villages documented by me over the years, her jewelry resembles that of the Banjara Community. She however dresses like the other villagers, and sat with us as we photographed the girls from the local school sponsored by Humana People to People India.

We arrived at this village in the middle of the day and took advantage of the shade. A couple of young men took turns holding the reflector, and we arranged a small stool for the girls to sit upon for their session. The cookware next to her was already there, and for the sake of variety we moved them a little bit in between sitters.

I enjoy it when an adult, like in the previous post, injects a bit of humor into the scene. This allows the students to be freer with their expressions and makes for a more interesting session. This is exactly what she did, moved her hands through the air and allowed me to photograph her all the while. Behind me and to the left sat a group of men watching, which made her actions that much more remarkable.

Contrary to my experiences in the past, the men also enjoyed the humor and supported all of our work. Their presence served to give our work more plausibility, and we did our best to present all of them with photographs a day or so later.

In the beginning of my photography, years ago, I would return to the villages the following year and hand the pictures out to the people. While they very much appreciated it, the number of photographs was limited to the amount my luggage would allow, plus the protective sleeves. Taking a digital camera along allowed me to make images and print them immediately afterwards at the local photographic lab. In this way the local economy benefited from my humble offerings and the people received their pictures much sooner, and more of them.

This engendered a warmer response, and allowed further sessions to have a flow unattainable before.

I look forward to visiting this village once again, perhaps next year. My hope is that the girls of this village are attending government schools, and that they will allow me the privilege to photograph them once again.

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Halim Ina Photography