Sunday, June 26, 2022

Young Girl + Flower, India, 2020, Limited Edition (50), 11x14 Handmade Silver Gelatin Print

This is a silver gelatin print of a young student made by me, the photographer, in my darkroom. It is printed on Ilford MGIVWT glossy fiber 11x14 paper, and toned in selenium for permanence. It is processed in a Zone VI washer to archival standards, and allowed to dry overnight on a screen. The camera/lens combination was a Hasselblad 501CM/100mm, and the frame was exposed onto Kodak's fabulous Tri-X film. This portrait is from a library of well over 300,000 negatives exposed over the last 24 years, from four continents and a dozen countries. Every person is spoken with prior to the portrait, and the process is explained fully. Most of my work is on film, and the countries are revisited year after year in order to continue the documentation of the same families, of the same communities. 

This young girl attends a religious school six days a week, and endures a most conservative society day to day. We have worked with her school for the past eight years and hope to support her headmaster with his vision to bring a more rounded curriculum to his school. Their headmaster is a wonderful man and hopes to expand the curriculum past the existing one based on religion only. Her village is quite a ways from the main road, tiny and incredibly serene. This is the only world she knows.

The purpose of selling these portraits on Etsy is to support the social work being accomplished through my photography. Presently we have six sewing centers in two states of India, serving both the Hindu and the Muslim communities. In these sewing centers, young women learn a trade while also making clothing for their families. The centers are located in the rural areas, where young women have only one option normally, marriage and a family. At this moment, due to COVID-19, the work is on hold. However, we plan to restart the centers in 2022 and the funds from the sale of these portraits will be applied to the work in India.

As a side note, my belief is that you will be very pleased with the print in person, as the tones of a silver gelatin print are difficult to represent through the screen. One may sense the surface of the print by looking at the gloss in certain areas of the print's surface. In the end, the print you will receive will be slightly different than the one represented on the screen, both in tone and in emotional impact... different in the best sense of the word. Every print is an original, and my hope is that it finds a good space in your home.

Each print will be signed and dated by me, the photographer, and numbered to a maximum of 50 prints (11x14) per negative. 

Best Friends + School, Kisumu, Kenya, 2007

Fourteen years ago I was privileged to have access to a beautiful community in western Kenya, thanks to a foundation named MACODEF. We went from village to village, from school to school, in search of incredible people and stories. This school was on the outskirts of Kisumu, and we walked just to the side to make portraits of the entire student body. Some children had shoes and some lacked, while almost all of the children were wearing the only uniform that they possessed. The foundation is doing remarkable work given the conditions, and I applaud their efforts sincerely. 

Claudia + Wind, La Habana, Cuba, 2016

Han pasado cuatro años desde mi último verano en Cuba y más desde este retrato de Claudia. Tenía diez años cuando conocí a su familia y ahora está en la universidad, haciendo su propio camino. Estoy orgulloso de sus logros hasta ahora y espero con ansias lo que hará en el futuro.

Leandro + Playa, Santa Maria Del Mar, Cuba, 2014

Back in 2014 Leandro Carrazana was a young dancer who was gracious enough to join us on the beach early one morning. It was a pleasure to witness his talents in this beautiful setting, and I’m so happy to have these images as a reminder of better times.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Best Friends, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2019

The color portraits by Steve McCurry inspired me to take color film with me to India. These young girls were photographed by me in 2013 when I visited a refugee community in their area. The families were displaced due to the riots of Muzaffarnagar that same year. Now the world is facing a refugee crisis on a massive scale, and a return to chaos for countless girls in Afghanistan. I can only hope otherwise.

Patricia + Campo, Guanabacoa, Cuba, 2016

Beautiful memory of a great morning in the countryside with Patricia, missing yet another summer in Cuba due to the pandemic. Hope all are healthy and safe on the island!

Thank you @modaegos and team!

Nica + Forest, Miramar, Nicaragua, 2019

My visit to Nicaragua came as my 50th year approached, the same age my father had when we left in the aftermath of the 1973 earthquake. The feeling of walking the same streets as my parents cannot be described. The embrace by the rural communities as we travelled took me by surprise and made me realize that I was home after so long. 

Such was this morning session near Miramar. The people of this neighborhood embraced us immediately, such as this young and her family. Their lives are extremely hard, as they endure an existence without running water, access to healthcare, proper electricity, sanitation... while living in homes with dirt floors and open windows. These were the people that I wanted to meet, these are the lives that I needed to document.