Sunday, January 15, 2017

Young Girl + Path, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia, 2010

Time does fly by and tonight I share an image from seven years ago, from the Lower Omo Valley of Ethiopia. Thanks to my guides we were able to visit this tribe, off the beaten path. Although this region is incredibly remote, as we drive and search out tribes we encounter nothing but SUVs filled with tourists and their cameras. Some were professionals, while many were tourists interested in the cultures of these tribes, and a few snapshots along the way.

This made the work quite difficult because the tribes treated me like any other, which was of course understood. We needed to barter with every community regarding a price for the photography, before we began of course. This was the case with her community, and the negotiations were handled by my Ethiopian connections.

Once we were allowed we had more people that we could handle photographically. All wanted to earn a bit from the photography, but my eyes caught this young girl as she stood nearby. We asked for her portrait, and she sat down gracefully on the path in between the homes. While all the rest were photographed with the traditional structures behind them, it felt different with her for the portrait was more about her than the environment.

Her features were incredibly poignant, and her presence was sublime. She never wavered, and was as calm as anyone else in the community regardless of age. I am honored to have made her portrait, and hope to return one day soon.

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad V system.

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