On our last day walking around the streets of Muş, brother Ömer and I returned to the same neighborhood from the previous day. The clouds had set in early the day before and we wanted to make sure we made the best portraits for the girls. It so happened that five or so girls were standing on the corner and were deeply enthused to see us, almost as much as we were to find them finished with school.
We located a white wall around the corner from the main home and used a reflector to produce the highlights/shadows in the portraits. We worked hard to make it easier for this young girl and this was one of two exposures only before her mother called her away, ending her collaboration with us.
There are good moments and there are less than perfect ones in my photography. We tried to talk with the family but they refused to allow us any further. Frustration set in even more so because of my inability to communicate with the family directly. It was clearly evident that the young girl wanted to continue as she waved her hands in the air when her older brother talked with us. She was deeply saddened but never once showed any hints of the negative towards us.
Thirty or so minutes later we were walking home when we saw an older man sitting on the side of a shop. He invited us to a conversation and allowed us to make his portrait. All of the girls happened to be following us and stopped alongside us to photograph this man. A few minutes into the session this young girl also joined us and had the sweetest, most subtle presence. She was certainly the adult in this interaction and had a calming sense about her. She made me feel that everything was fine, that she understood my intentions and the source of my frustrations, for she lives in this neighborhood and with these limitations every minute of her life.
I reached out to her as she was standing to my right, touched her gently and whispered in her language a word signifying that she was fine in my eyes. She responded with grace and kindness, through her smile. We were both at peace with ourselves.
This was scanned through the negative sleeve just a few minutes ago and cleaned up a bit, all the while my heart was beating madly. I couldn't have hoped for a more perfect image, and am thrilled that we were able to do so for her. We will return next year and hope that her family will amend their decision.
Halim Ina Photography