Sometimes it's easier for me to stay in one place photographically, to make portraits of familiar faces, for one never knows what the next day/village holds. Then we travel to another state and find the people to be just as beautiful and incredible.
This happened yesterday when it was cloudy in Delhi. Instead of spending the night in the city, we decided to travel to Panipat and explore a new project by Humana India. My dear friend Kamal was heading this project and we were guided to our first destination by Sunil.
Because this morning was a holiday we visited one slum without a school set up at this time. A survey had been done and a school is planned in the very near future. We arrived to see many children playing in the street, but were also a bit cautious since we had little in terms of a social connection.
After about 15 minutes of talking, as the sun was getting stronger and stronger, it seemed more necessary for me to help my friends and walk into the narrow alleys immediately. Prudent action along with a smile has worked over and over again for my photography. The community was very pleasant, and to the surprise of my friends almost all of the children were awake.
This came as no surprise to me since the children of these migrant families wake up much earlier than most of my comrades in the foundation. The girls were eager to see what was happening, and the adults were very kind in their reactions.
Even though we'd be in the open, we decided to work in the open street since we had access to sunshine. My trust in the community was more than rewarded when the people helped with their support, both in keeping the children organized and in helping them feel comfortable.
This young girl was one of the first to be photographed, as my eyes were attracted to her eyes and pink coat immediately. She was a remarkable, young girl... had composure throughout the few minutes she was in front of the camera and also allowed us to reposition her hood several times. Her expression was remarkable, especially when we think of the number of people standing in front of her (perhaps 40 or so).
After our work my friend Amanpreet made the right decision and accepted the communities invitation to have tea. Engaging the community rather than getting into the car always helps the people understand our work more so, and gives them the true perception that we are there to help tell their stories.
We talked for perhaps an hour more, got into the car and left with all of the children waving... as well as smiles on most of the adults. It was a sweet morning, and a good start for our work in Panipat, Haryana.
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.