Sunday, July 16, 2017

Syrian Girl + Garden, Zahle, Lebanon, 2017

She is as striking as her predecessors in her camp, as beautiful as any other in this world. Her homeland is in distress, and her life in Lebanon is anything but stable. Yet she does what she can to help her family, and endures with such grace.

On my second day to her camp she was helping her mother with the purchase of some vegetables from a visiting truck. She caught my attention right away, but her presence was missing as we had our first session.

As the third day arrived it seemed that she would never come, and then she approached us with a smile. She might have seen the photographs in her friends' hands from the day before, or just the commotion from the photography. Regardless she allowed me to make her portrait twice, in the shade and in direct sunlight.

She was silent the entire time, but spoke volumes through her expressions. My hope is that this portrait does justice to her spirit, and that she allows me once again to make her portrait tomorrow.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Designs of Yudel with Patricia, Guanabacoa, Cuba, 2016

There is something truly special about this incredible island that continues to bring me back. While of course the cars are sublime and the music is untouchable, the people of Cuba impress me deeply for they embrace without hesitation. 

This image is such an example. It all began when we visited a modeling school seven years ago, and were welcomed on our first visit to photograph the students. Every year since then the collaboration deepened, allowing us to photograph those we wished to photograph. In addition, the two best designers in the capital have allowed us to freely use their works with the models, and to do so for as many days we wished over the past few years.

For this session we were fortunate enough to have the designs of Yudel on hand. This man is simply divine, as is his work. For the models we were photographing, he selected pieces suited for their frames and personalities. He allowed us to visit his shop, also met us at a park near his home all to make our work that much simpler.

We made this image at the end of our session, as the sun's strength increased. Patricia put the long, flowing dress on and began to dance in the rural streets of Guanabacoa. The shutter was released in line with her movements, pure magic.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Daughter of Sheikh, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2009

On the 11th of August in 2009 her portrait was made, over a dozen years after my photography was born in her camp. She and her family lived in Lebanon as migrants, and her father was in charge of negotiating between the Lebanese farmers and the Syrian laborers in his encampment. Her community had one foot in Lebanon, and the other in Syria.

She has two older sisters who had been photographed by me previously, when they were allowed to be photographed... and two younger sisters who photographed freely with us at the time of this portrait. She is the most precious of girls, and words fail me in describing my feelings for her and her family. She is like a daughter to me, and my upcoming trip to Lebanon is filled with the hope of seeing her again.

One day as we finished our photography and were walking back to her tent, we shared the most incredible conversation out in the open, yet out of hearing range from the community. It will remain in my memory for life, and is what drives this work forward. Such experiences are priceless and demonstrate how special this path in life truly is.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 V system.