We all need daily reminders of who we are and where we've been -- without that point of reference, we couldn't possibly know how far along we've come. One way to remind us are photographs, which we often take for granted. Not necessarily because one person can "afford" them and another cannot, nor because we have such great access to them.
Photographs are like frozen moments in time that don't change unless we change -- maybe in our look or how we view them. Portraits, are mirror images that don't disappear.
A friend of mine shared this video with me, about a pair of teenage photographers, Vanessa Hollander and Wilson Philippe, who journeyed across nomadic Mongolia for ten days and gave this gift without realizing it at first glance.
While researching Mongolia prior to our trip, we found out that most of the natives love having photographs taken of themselves. Most nomadic Mongolians have never had a printed photo to keep of themselves before, so we decided to bring a bunch of Polaroid film along on our motorcycles so each local we met along the way could have a picture to keep of him or herself!
When we asked one family if we could take a picture of them, we were kind of scared of bothering or distracting them from their daily duties. I didn't see the family for the next ten minutes so I assumed they didn't want a picture. Finally, the family (the first family seen in the video) came out of their yurt all decked out in traditional celebratory clothing only used on Mongolian holidays! We were so honored to be able to capture a moment of their lives that would always remain a memory ... They were all so shocked when they'd finally see a faded image of their face appear on the Polaroid ....
Each person photographed really prized and protected his or her Polaroid (fearing that we wanted to keep it), and barely let us see it when it was developed! The children automatically stored it away once we showed them what was the very first printed picture of themselves. It was a really great and humbling experience and showed us how much just one photograph can mean to people who have never had one of themselves. Although many people claim they want to escape this mess of technology in more delevoped countries, we often tend to take the beauty of some technology, such as photography, for granted.Source: Vimeo
Here are a couple of shots from Vanessa and Wilson's trip. If you want to see more, visit them at www.wiissa.com.
PS: I love that they used film as a part of this trip.
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