Monday, September 26, 2011

Athlete, Havana, Cuba, July, 2011

He might look prepared for the portrait above made by Eldo. He is however anything but as he watches us photographing two young dancers. He walks up without making us aware of his presence, and sits on a ledge under the shade while the young women perform in front of us.

We are using an old stadium once built for the Pan-American Games of 1991. In the history of these competitions the people of Cuba have placed second in terms of the number of medals achieved, second only to the United States. This speaks volumes of a people with a fraction of the resources available for such, both in terms of finances and population. 

A beautiful white wall stands behind the women and the sun shines beautifully. 

He seems to be more interested in watching us rather than exercising. So during one moment of relaxation I walk over to him and ask for his photograph. His smile only pushes the two dancers further. They walk over and begin to persuade him otherwise.. It takes them less than a minute to help him make his way to that beautiful white wall. 

He is a natural, completely at ease in front of the camera while two photographers make his portrait. I am working on a tripod and Eldo is working with a hand-held camera. He responds without pause to our requests, performs solo and then goes on to perform with the dancers. When we ask him to remove his shirt, he removes it immediately without question.

The dancers tease him, they flirt with him and he holds his own without once regretting his decision to be photographed.

A week or so later he receives his portraits from Eldo.
Halim Ina Photography

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