Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Claudia + Quinceañera, La Habana, Cuba, Summer of 2014


Although Cuba is two months away, printing the images for the girls has already started. The idea is to hopefully rest the night before the trip rather than spend it printing like the year before last. The task seems daunting, with over 2,800 negatives scanned prior to the Indian trip. A little by little however they will be printed, and made ready. It's the least I can do in return for the generosity of these girls, for their kindness.

In this portrait we see someone familiar of course, here in her fourth year with me. She had straightened her hair for her upcoming Quinceañera, for the photographs to be made and for the celebrations. She looked completely different, while at the same time showing me glimpses of a younger Claudia through her expressions. Throughout all my years with her, it had always been beyond difficult to pull away from her photographically… to place more distance between us. Her ability to vary her expressions was peerless, drawing me in consistently and leaving me breathless in between exposures.

I do hope that she will allow me to photograph her again after her Quinceañera, when her hair has perhaps returned to its natural state. Rather than shedding her shyness as she has grown up, she has actually become more withdrawn. She has always used the camera as an opportunity to express herself… and hopefully in two months she will see my visit as a chance to do what she has done in the past so successfully.

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Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination onto Fuji Neopan Acros 100 ISO film with natural light only.