Saturday, October 24, 2015

Young Student + Mehndi, Rajasthan, India, 2009 - 2015

Six years ago I photographed her in her family's field, holding her brother in her arms. The sun had almost set but we had enough light to make this image, as well as more of her family.

Fast forward six years to the image of her applying her art to my arm. There are very few in my work with such intensity, who can express themselves with such honest power. When a smile graces her exquisite face the scene lights up, and all notice.

This past year we discussed the possibility of her inclusion in our program as a sewing instructor. While she loved the idea, we needed to talk with her parents to achieve their blessing. The entire time she sat behind the sewing machine listening to the conversation with absolute attention. Every time the leader of the program mentioned her name, and the idea, her smile gave her away… and was magnificent to watch.

These two images show how much she has changed, yet how she has retained her purity. The images were made within a dozen meters of each other, six years apart. Even at such a young age, her intensity is unmistakable!

Note: She also happened to be a student in one of the schools for girls, and how is the sewing teacher for her village.

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