We arrived and were taken to the roof of the building which also doubled as the school supported by Humana People to People India. The sun was setting quickly and we made a few images before the sun disappeared. We had to act fast and with the help of the women moved a bench to the corner of the roof with the most ambient light. In the five minutes that it took us to move things around, the girls and young women had a good time watching me and the team run around in desperation.
The sitting position would allow the most light to fall on their faces, since they would need to look up at the camera. We made portraits for perhaps thirty minutes before it was too late to do any more. We promised to return another day and certainly did so to much success. This was my first experience in this village and it infected me with an enthusiasm to return, the faces were as extraordinary as their spirits.
The girls in this village have an incredible confidence, even amongst the boys and men. This young woman is an example. She looks through the lens rather than at it, and this affected me deeply during the session. The curiosity with which they look upon my work is heartfelt and genuine.
A few years later their school would be closed and my relationship with them different. We hope to reopen the school in their village this year and regain their confidence. This year my work hopes to change, to document them as previously but also to include their lives more fully. Where it began hopefully it will continue.
Halim Ina Photography