Friday, December 28, 2012

Woman, Water Collection, Somewhere in Senegal, 2006

We were on the road for  just a little bit when we can across this woman and a younger companion near a water well. They were just finished with water collection when we arrived, and let us speak with them for a few minutes. They then allowed us to make their portraits, giving us just enough time to set up before walking away.

She was doing just that when this image was made. My memory tells me that she has a natural toothbrush between her lips, the brand that's sold on the streets in bundles by vendors. The area around us was as seen in the image above, open and expansive. We were on our way to the interior of The Gambia and had a long road ahead of us.

Much of my work today is planned, scheduled and repeated. The people in my portraits are familiar to me, and I can identify their streets and homes from a satellite view of our globe. Her portrait and all other portraits from my time in Senegal are more mysterious. I will never be able to visit this place again, and am thankful for at least this image.

Perhaps I should refrain from using the word never, because I do have family in Senegal and they do remember the driver. He might just remember the path taken and just might be able to take me once again to this well. Regardless I have come to accept these single portraits, and cherish them actually. There are so many more spirits to document, that she will forgive my absence I believe.

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Halim Ina Photography