Chennai (India). I will never forget the moment I photographed this baby. It was during a visit at a village close to Chennai on the way to Kancheepuram.
I was there for my MBA, and with my class I had the opportunity to meet the local NGO “Hand in Hand”: it was a very emotionally intensive meeting, and I had the opportunity of learning what they do a lot to fight poverty, from supporting local communities to helping them to develop, from funding schools to eliminate the child labor problem to financing local workers with micro-finance projects; and so on… (for more information, this is the link to their website).
As said, the construction of local school is one of the pillars of their development plans, and the visit indeed was including one of them. We were warmly welcomed by students, some of them dressed with typical costumes. They were excited for our visit, but we were probably even more excited than them for the situation.
During a pause, while I was walking around the school building, I saw this child drinking. I had a big camera in my hands, so I was worried to frighten her: Conversely, she was curious about my presence there and she made me understand that she was ready to be photographed.
There are some situations where languages are not an issue, at least spoken languages. You can use your body (especially eyes) to communicate, being very efficient. When I travel with my camera and I want to take a photo of someone, there’s nothing better than stop in front of the subject keeping the camera down and make clearly – but gently and smiling – understand the intention of taking a photo. This is exactly what I did here, and this is the final result: behind this photo – for me – there is not only the portrait of a lovely baby with her glass in a hand and some drops of water still around her mouth; watching this photo there is the entire memory about a situation where I could communicate my emotion about the scene, and have the clear feeling that I was understood.
This is another aspect that makes me deeply love photography.