Last week was spent in one of the most beautiful places thus far in my travel experiences. The southern, western portion of Madhya Pradesh took my breath away several times an hour during my week there, and will undoubtedly remain in my memory.
On this day we visited a small school sponsored by Humana People to People India. The project involves bringing children out of school into the mainstream system utilizing the new 'Step Up' program.
As we were nearing the end of our photography for the morning this young girl stepped out of nowhere. She took her place on this stage, was defiant in the face of the bright reflector and expressed herself fully to the lens.
She never flinched, maintained her composure in front of two dozen people, then stepped to her left to join her friends sitting on the adjacent landing.
Her community is a most beautiful one, mirroring the landscape in which she lives. The houses are distant from each other, dotting the landscape like the trees. This of course is also a very difficult life, with children walking kilometers over mountains just to attend classes.
Her dress has been taken care of by loving hands, maintaining its life for as long as possible. This not-so-small detail impressed me deeply as the photograph was being made, and I just hope that my portrait honors her spirit so.
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3 using a reflector as well.