She is a professional, acknowledged my reactions and incorporated them into her next gestures. Her light eyes stood strong against the sun even though most would fold under such intensity. We had worked for over two hours by the time of this portrait yet she was unyielding in her output. When offered rest, she kindly insisted to continue with our work.
In comparison to the digital platform, moving at such a pace in the analog equivalent required reloading the film back over and over again. Rather than losing momentum Mariel would continue to move while I reloaded the film back. When I returned to the viewfinder she would be ready to show me much more and with an exuberance that made working with her the equivalent of working overseas.
Here is a woman, photographed literally hundreds of times by dozens of photographers. Rather than placing herself above those in my portfolio from around the world because of her experience, she embraces them by approaching this project with humility and respect. She never once asked me for a hair stylist, but rather let her hair flow freely in the wind. She had every right to do so, and such a team is an incredible asset to a photographic collaboration. However she recognized the meaning of my work and wanted to be one with the women and girls in my book.
On this day she achieved this most successfully and has earned my sincerest respect. We shall collaborate for years to come, and have plans next year to initiate a workshop in the Los Angeles area to raise funds for schools in India. On her support the girls of Rajasthan can depend, and have found a sister across the oceans.
As her essence passed through the glass elements of my lenses, she joined those in my portfolio in their struggles, in their joys. To learn more regarding my work, and the projects represented through these images, you may visit the website listed below.