We were driving on the road perpendicular to this small path when we noticed his features from the car. We slowed down a bit and my dear friend Ali agreed to step out and have a short conversation with the three men. To our delight this older man agreed to our presence and even allowed us to photograph the others from his family.
With his permission we moved his chair into the sunlight and began with a formal portrait of his face, then moved onto making images of his incredibly beautiful hands. He was surprised at my attraction to his hands, but allowed it nonetheless after seeing a few examples of such in my photographic album.
After seeing our work a few of the boys wanted their portraits made and we did so in a candid manner with the handheld camera. A roll or so were also exposed on film of this man's son when my eyes noticed the women sitting in the distance watching. With a whisper I communicated to Ali my desire to include the women and in the same whisper he advised me that this would be near to impossible.
I respected Ali's advice of course, wanting to do anything but to get him into trouble. However the urge to do so overtook me and without the use of a common language my thoughts were communicated to the men in charge with gestures, and honest pleas with a smile.
To my pleasant surprise they agreed kindly and allowed me to make portraits of two of the young women. To my greater surprise the two young women walked over in front of so many men to have their portraits made without a single sign of hesitation. They were strong and confident, albeit quite reserved with their words. They stood for their portraits as strong as any of the women in my portfolio and, considering the circumstances around them, without equal.
I look forward to this man's portrait, to the images of his hands and to the results of the young women's portraits in the coming days as the negatives are reviewed.
Halim Ina Photography