Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Young Boy + Calf, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018

Excerpt from a night of sleep on March 1, 2019:

As I sleep just 5 meters from where his portrait was made last year, I look forward to the images that 2019 promises. Over the past 12 days we have visited over 8 villages and reconnected with all madrasas within them thanks to my brother Imdadulla Nadvi and his trust in our collaboration, and also Javed for his tremendous help. Tomorrow we set out to visit two more schools and meet the beautiful students of this region.


Note: Image made with a Hasselblad V system.

Clay Bowl, Rajasthan, India, 2018

Just happened that as I walked behind the tree in the previous post,  I found this beautiful artifact, and immediately was drawn to it. Now and then as I walk through the villages in my work I look for items to bring back home, and was beyond fortunate to have seen it.


Temple + Tree, Rajasthan, India, 2018

This image was made as we were driving around Virat Nagar. My friend Mukesh allowed us to stop after this scene unfolded itself to our right. It was in the middle of a village. We parked to the right and I walked over with my camera.

As with most times we stopped, boys walked over to check out the visitors. They were most welcome to do so of course, for we were in their village. They were very sweet and watched in good humor as I set the camera up. After this image was made, I asked a few of them to walk into the frame and almost all of them did. These are the kind of moments photography allows me to experience.


Note: Image made with a Hasselblad V system.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Omar + I, Syrian Camp, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2018

This happened to be the scene after the photography one afternoon, as the community invited me to celebrate a wedding. The leader's daughter married and the groom's family had a full week's worth of feasts to prepare for the camp. I have known this young man for 21 years, and it was an honor to be seated next to the leaders of the community, men who once were boys of my photography. So they refused to let me leave and we dug right in a few hours ago!


Nada + Room, Refugee Camp, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2019

Last month I visited Lebanon once again and photographed the children of the children I used to photograph over two decades ago. The Syrians living in Lebanon back then were migrant searching for a better life. Now they have lost their homes back in Syria and are facing a hostile environment in their host country. 

We were so fortunate to have had this room for our session on this morning. In this room the woman of the house made sure that the boys remained outside, and out of the way! 


Cuatro Bailarines + Museo, La Habana, Cuba, 2018

El verano pasado en Cuba fue especial gracias en parte a las cuatro personas en esta imagen, y gracias a Gysleda por presentarme a Luis Miguel. Esta imagen se hizo frente al museo, y me gusta pensar que el arte de estas personas increíbles debería estar en la colección del museo.


Last summer in Cuba was special thanks in part to the four people in this image, and thanks to Gysleda for introducing me to Luis Miguel. This image was made in front of the museum, and I like to think that the art of these incredible people should be in the museum collection.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Cami + Abandoned Structure, El Mirage, California, 2017

Something was missing from my life this past year. Hopefully, after my work in India, Cami and I will reunite in Los Angeles for our third session! Over the past three years we made magical images on two occasions, thanks to her genuine spirit and creative mind. 

While she has helped create national and international works of art through musical videos, she is truly a humble person. She understands the lives of the people in my work from overseas and gives of herself to make the work that much more relevant.

Watching Cami move from one expression to another is like sitting down for a performance. There are times when it's necessary to remind myself that my job is to document the performance, while still enjoying it. To have been granted the opportunity is both an honor and a privilege; and my hope is that the images are a testament to her physical talents and spiritual kindness.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/100mm combination onto Ilford Delta 100 film.

Iberodance + Malecón, La Habana, Cuba, 2018

El verano pasado tuve la gran oportunidad de trabajar con una compañía de bailarines, Iberodance. Gracias a Anays Diz Pe como siempre, y gracias a mis nuevos amigos de la compañía!

Last summer I had a great opportunity to work with a company of dancers, Iberodance. Thanks to Anays as always, and thanks to my new friends from the company!


Monday, June 10, 2019

Jasmine + El Mirage, California, 2017

Yesterday was spent with Jasmine, at least with the film made during our meeting at El Mirage a few years ago. For some reason the scans back then looked 'soft,' and gave me the impetus to scan them once again. They look beautifully sharp now, grateful to have had the chance to document her incredible talents. 


Syrian Girl + Camp, Lebanon, 2018

Contrasts exist in some of least likely places, like this young girl's camp. The picture on one of the homes had propaganda with a young woman in a short dress. The community which lives in this camp is conservative, where women cover themselves according to their religion. A dress such as the one in the advertisement is forbidden.

This young girl lives in the very camp which gave birth to my photography nearly 22 years ago. Her mother was a young girl then. Last September was my most recent visit and her portrait was made inside of her home, with only the sun coming through the window.

She and her community have lived in Lebanon for over three decades. At first they fled their country as economic refugees, and have now become refugees of the brutal war in their homeland of Syria.

She is as sublime as any in my work, and her love is as pure as the sky in Lebanon during June. Anyone visiting Lebanon in the summer knows that the sky is perfectly blue every single day.


Los contrastes existen en algunos de los lugares menos probables, como el campamento de esta niña. La imagen en una de las casas tenía una propaganda con una joven con un vestido corto. La comunidad que vive en este campamento es conservadora, donde las mujeres se cubren a sí mismas de acuerdo con su religión. Un vestido como el de la propaganda está prohibido.

Esta joven vive en el mismo campamento donde comenzó mi fotografía hace casi 22 años. Su madre era una niña en ese momento. El último mes de septiembre fue mi visita más reciente y su retrato se hizo dentro de su casa, solo con el sol de la ventana.

Ella y su comunidad han vivido en el Líbano durante más de tres décadas. Al principio, huyeron de su país como refugiados económicos y ahora son refugiados de la guerra brutal en su tierra natal de Siria.

Ella es tan sublime como cualquiera en mi trabajo, y su amor es tan puro como el cielo en el Líbano durante junio. Cualquier persona que visite el Líbano en verano sabe que el cielo 
está perfectamente azul todos los días. 


Friday, June 7, 2019

Young Student + Classroom, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018

For those of you who continue to support this work her portrait is presented on this beautiful day. This young girl attends a wonderful school about an hour away from the school supported by all of you. We visited her school to learn a little about her headmaster and to see the great work his team is doing in the area.

The school happens to also be his home, all supported by the local community. He is an incredible man and lives what he speaks. About two dozen girls live on the premise, while over 100 girls attend classes from the neighboring villages. His team provides all meals, and a wonderful space in which to learn.

When we first arrived he was direct, and honestly told me that he wanted nothing in return. This was a very different response, and we were humbled by his generosity. When we sat down to talk he invited us in to his room, and brought fruits and drinks for our conversation.

He then asked three of the young girls to come, one by one, and perform a song for us. They were so well prepared and performed flawlessly, not nervous at all it seemed. You could feel the energy in their performances, they were truly sublime.

When we asked to begin the photography he guided us through it all, and when he had to step away he put that responsibility in the hands of a young girl. This was a remarkable act in a region where girls are less than valued, and barely noticed.

No wonder the girls responded so well to our presence!


Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100 iii.

Best Friends, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018

They attend a wonderful school in a tiny village within Uttar Pradesh, and have my sincerest appreciation for allowing their portraits to be made. We are looking to further support their school and hope that others will join us to make this even more possible.

All interested in supporting this work do reach out to me and we will make it happen! 

1 Girl 1 Year = $100

For those interested I will of course provide further, detailed information. This is our way to fulfill that great cliché, making a difference... hoping to turn that cliché into a reality!


Dos Bailarines + Plaza, La Habana Vieja, Cuba, 2018

Mucha gente me pregunta, '¿por qué Cuba es especial para tu fotografía?' Para mí la respuesta es simple, es la voluntad de la gente para crear sin dudar. Si bien esto parece un poco simplista, uno debe intentar hacerlo en cualquier parte del mundo antes de pensar así.

En esta imagen hay dos personas que eran una semana antes desconocidas para mí. Estábamos haciendo un video para ayudar a Anays y su compañía, y antes de pasar a la siguiente plaza, les pedí a algunos de los bailarines algunos momentos de fotografía. Sin lugar a dudas, se hicieron una docena de exposiciones ... y esta fue una.

Me encanta cada lugar que visito y comparto una razón solo para mis visitas a Cuba. ¡Son las personas, más que los edificios o las playas, quienes continúan inspirándome!

Nota: esta imagen es solo un escaneo aproximado ... ¡los escaneados más finos se compartirán pronto!


Many people ask me, 'why is Cuba special to your photography?' For me the answer is simple, it is the willingness of the people to create without hesitation. While this seems a bit simplistic, one should try to do so anywhere in the world before thinking so.

In this image are two people who were but a week earlier strangers to me. We were making a video in order to help Anays and her company, and before moving to the next square I asked a few of the dancers for a few moments of photography. Without a second's doubt a dozen exposures were made... with this being one.

I love every place I visit, and am sharing one reason only for my visits to Cuba. It is the people, rather than the buildings or the beaches, who continue to inspire me!


Note: this image is only a rough scan... the finer scans will be shared soon!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Drawing by Student, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018

Before classes began last year such public displays of art were rare. Now girls get to sit down with each other, paper on the floor and paint brushes in hand, to create images. Some do so from their day to day experiences, some do so from lands far away.

The energy as this happens is hard to describe, an amazing moment to experience in person. Here is a piece by one of the students in the village, one of the most sublime places on earth to be. In this village change is happening, and most recently I received a message from one of its residents sharing their pride in the progress being made.

Together we can make the difference so many dream of!


Best Friends + Classroom, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2017

A rare glimpse into their world is seen here, as a photograph of the girls is usually impermissible. It is an honor to have permission to do so. The team in their village is working hard to make the school as successful as possible.

Anyone interested in joining us will also be matched 1:1, making that difference more attainable.


Dos Modelos + Perro, La Habana, Cuba, 2018

Gracias a Yudel R. Contreras Garcia tuvimos el arte más increíble para nuestra sesión frente al museo. Luna y Laura fueron las estrellas esa mañana y caminamos a algunos lugares, desde la Embajada de España hasta el Hotel Sevilla y el Museo de Bella Artes.

Entre estos lugares famosos se encontraba la entrada de apartamento más hermosa, en la que hicimos esta fotografía. Estaba al lado de una parada de autobús y cuando la gente pasaba, miraron a estas dos mujeres talentosas, vestidas con el arte de Yudel. Cuando terminamos la docena de fotografías, un perro se sentó junto a las muchachas, ¡y fue un gran modelo!

Hicimos doce imágenes y luego caminamos al hotel para la siguiente parte de la sesión. Esta imagen se hizo gracias al talento y la paciencia de estos dos hermosas amigas, y me siento honrada de haber sido su fotógrafo por un día.

Gracias a Gysleda Virginia De La Barca Vega por todo!


Thanks to Yudel we had the most incredible art for our session in front of the museum. Grettel and Laura were the stars on that morning and we walked to a few places, from the Spanish Embassy to the Sevilla Hotel to the Museo de Bella Artes.

In between these famous places there was the most beautiful apartment entrance, in which we made this photograph. It was next to a bus stop and as people walked by they looked over at these two talented women, dressed in Yudel's art. As we finished the dozen photographs a dog sat next to the women, and was a great model!

We made twelve images and then walked to the hotel for the next part of the session. This image was made thanks to the talents and patience of these two beautiful friends, and I am honored to have been their photographer for a day.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/180 mm lens. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Anays y Daniela y El Tren, La Habana, Cuba, 2018

Daniela normalmente quiere ser fotografiada por ella misma, pero hace una excepción cuando incluimos a Anays. A su madre le encanta específicamente ver a su hija con Anays, y sabe que su hija aprende muchísimo de esa colaboración.

La noche anterior estábamos conduciendo por el campo y encontramos que este tren se detenía por la noche. Hablamos con los hombres en el tren y nos dieron permiso para usar el tren por la mañana para nuestra sesión. Compartimos esto con las chicas y les encantó la idea.

Las imágenes de esta sesión son simplemente sublimes, y esto es solo un ejemplo de las chicas mientras descansaban durante su actuación para la cámara. El ángulo del sol jugó a la perfección con la posición del tren, así como las sombras de las chicas.


Daniela normally wants to be photographed by herself, but makes an exception when we include Anays. Her mother specifically loves to see her daugther with Anays, and knows that her daugther learns a tremendous amount from such a collaboration.

The evening before we were driving around the countryside and found this train stopped for the evening. We spoke with the men on the train and they gave us permission to use the train in the morning for our session. We shared this with the girls and they loved the idea.

The images from this session are just sublime, and this is but one example of the girls as they were resting during their performance for the camera. The sun's angle played beautifully with the position of the train, as well as the shadows of the girls.

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm combination. 

Anays Diz Pe + Transformación, La Habana, Cuba, 2018

Las imágenes de las últimas dos semanas de escaneos me han impresionado sinceramente, principalmente por la gente en esta fotografía. Me siento honrado de contar con esta colaboración y espero que las imágenes honren a mis amigos y familiares en Cuba.

Anays quería imitar a un niño para una sesión y organizamos una mañana durante mi última semana en la isla. Usamos este hermoso edificio, y ella se vistió como un niño. Su transformación fue increíble, aunque no pudo cubrir por completo su lado femenino más hermoso.

Es un honor para mí presentar un ejemplo de nuestra sesión y espero que esté contenta con el resultado.


The images from this past two week's of scans have impressed me sincerely, mainly because of the people in this photography. I am honored to be trusted with this collaboration, and hope that the images honor my friends and family in Cuba.

Anays wanted to mimmick a boy for a session and we arranged a morning during my last week on the island. We used this beautiful building, and she dressed herself like a boy. Her transformation was incredible, even though she was unable to fully cover her most beautiful feminine side.

It is my honor to present an example from our session, and hope that she is content with the result.

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm lens combination.

Mango Habana + La Noche, Habana, Cuba, 2018

El verano pasado por la noche caminé por las calles, buscando luz en las calles. Fue una experiencia increíble, más fácil que fotografiar los edificios durante días.

Esta isla siempre me ha enseñado valiosas lecciones, las familias me han tratado bien, como un hermano y un hijo. La paciencia ha sido una lección que me ha permitido ver mi trabajo de unamanera diferente.

La paciencia del verano pasado me permitió pasar menos tiempo detrás de la cámara y más tiempo con mis amigos. Tomar un descanso para descansar durante el día me permitió caminar por la noche, viendo la ciudad sin luces y sin turistas.

Algo sobre la noche hizo que mis conversaciones con la gente de esta ciudad fueran muy diferentes. Las conversaciones fueron más relajadas, sin el intercambio habitual entre turista y habitante. Las imágenes tienen una sensación diferente, y me alegro de haber aprovechado la oportunidad para hacer imágenes por la noche.


Last summer I walked the streets at night, looking for light in the streets. It was an incredible experience, easier than photographing the buildings during the days.

This island has always taught me valuable lessons, the families have treated me well, like a brother and son. Patience has been one lesson, which has allowed me to look at my work in a different way.

This past summer patience allowed me to spend less time behind the camera and more time with my friends. Taking a break to rest during the day allowed me to walk around at night, seeing the city without lights and without tourists.

Something about the night made my conversations with the people of this city much different. The conversations were more relaxed, without the usual exchange between tourist and inhabitant. The images have a different sensation, and I am glad to have taken the chance to make images at nighttime.

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503CW/100 mm combination.