Sunday, August 16, 2009
Taking Portraits of Girls - My New Plan
As most of my readers know, I love taking portraits when I travel. The desire started after six weeks traveling around Europe. I found that when I looked back at my pictures there were lots of pretty buildings but the thing that differentiated each country were the faces and I had no pictures of them. So now I boldly engage with as many people as I can when I travel so I can bring the richness of those faces back to you.
Unfortunately on my recent trip to Israel I felt like I was not allowed to take any pictures of people. Every ask was denied. Its not that there aren't wonderful faces there. Gosh, I could spend a lifetime looking at the peyos on small Hasidic children and the long beards on some of their men. And as you probably have noticed I have and admiration and fascination with the Islamic veil. In the West Bank, women wear colorful, decorated and gracefully wrapped veils, that were different from the other places I have been.
Usually I can always count on children to let me photograph them. Boys love to ham around and make funny faces, but on the West Bank, even many of those faces evaded me. While some boys allowed it, girls always said no.
Because of this, I tried a new tactic: how about giving girls my camera to take pictures of me with them or for them to take pictures of each other? At first they were reticent and then the magic clicked. Somehow when girls were taking pictures of girls the shyness fell away. And thankfully I have these photos of beautiful Palestinian girls in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem and the Jenin refugee camp to share with you.
As always I wish I could bring all these bright girls back home with me and expose them to the opportunities I've had, but in lieu of that at least I hope you can see the sparkle in their eyes and think of them when you hear about Palestinians and the painful world they live in.
Posted by Cordelia