Ali ends up pictured on the left in our 'perfect' photo, looking like he had nothing to do with the arrangement... the sly fox, that one.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Yola, Nigeria: Getting to the Perfect Photo
You know you have a ton of photos (especially with digital cameras) that lead up to the ONE shot that shows everything you want it to - the smiling faces, the model poses, the vivid colors, the natural light - the perfect photo. That can sometimes be hard to get here, since most Africans think photos should show somberness and stiffness, with eyes gazing down (children young enough to not yet be trained in this are usually the exact opposite), going against most Western sensibilities. And then there's the African sun - the light during the day makes it hard to delve into the depth that one wants the camera to record. I usually try to capture the moment by getting to know people before I take their photos, so that they can let their guard down a bit, understanding that I'll see them again and probably provide them with a copy of a photo snapped the last time we were together - and usually in the shade. At community service last week for American University of Nigeria our driver, Ali, wanted our group photo to be SO perfect he took time to make sure the kids had lined themselves up properly and had our new children's books just right. The sun still washes some of it out, but I think the lead up to our perfect photo is more priceless than the actual 'perfect' photo. What do you think?