They're often uncomfortable at first, with a forced smile and cautious eyes. And I don't blame them since I we only met moments ago. So I'll be goofy and do what I can to get them to laugh. The Charleston usually does the trick. They'll crack a wonderful smile and I turn my camera so they can see the shot. Their eyes light up and their grin grows twice as big. I tell them they look great, and after seeing their portrait, they agree with me. I ask if I may take another, and they always say yes. I love shooting portraits, even more when I don't speak their language.
I began shooting portaits in Uganda three summers ago. It was terrible at first. I'd walk among all the ladies at Krochet Kids, their intimidating eyes staring me down. But once you make them laugh and show them how beautiful they are, they'll give you that same smile every day.
I met Julie in Uganda that summer. She was with 31 bits, another NGO from Costa Mesa. I highly recommender checking out her work from Tahoe last Fourth of July. She extended the invitation to India with her current position at Harvest India.
We spent eight days in and around Vijayawada, a city near Tenali in Soutern India. We gathered stories from the children's homes, leprosy colonies, health clinics, and schools of Harvest India.