There’s something to be said about constantly producing powerful images and the toll it takes on you. The emotional content is high and it’s hard to separate yourself from the project in front of you. You start to fall in love with these people and you know that there’s nothing you can do to truly change things for them at this moment. You just need more time, more miracles and more hope. There’s so much of your day wrapped up into other people that sometimes there’s not enough down time for you to truly recharge. Your team needs you and so do the people we are serving. For me, I am more in tune with the people around me when I am behind a camera because I am looking for the little nuggets of emotion and connection that help to tell their story more fully. I am looking for that whisper between sisters, the playful punching between brothers, the sad eyes from a grandparent.
Today, we went to the same communities that we went to yesterday with different lessons. Today, we fell more in love with them. In Romos, the community is the poorest that I have ever seen. Even when I went to Mexico on a trip much like this, the family we worked with at least had clothes and food and a job. Most of the families here do not. Most times, when I am shooting in the village when we are collecting the children, I have to shoot very strategically to not expose naked children to the internet. While yes, that is very much a part of their culture, it is not mine. I will be respectful of them in order to try and keep them children for as long as possible.
Today, I also learned that there are many, many, many prostitutes at a very young age. As young as eleven can be found on the streets looking for a man to pay them for sex. They get the equivalent of $12 for it. Once they get pregnant, they find an old woman in a shack with a hook that is willing to perform an abortion in the dirt and filth of the slums of Romania. If you ever thought that there isn’t a need for care, love and support in other countries, you are wrong. As Pete was telling me this on the way to the city, I was crying in the front seat of his car. I can’t imagine being so desperate that you are willing to do such drastic measures. I also can’t image such little value on human life. Pete was telling a story of a woman he knew that did this and three days after her abortion, she is out on the streets once again trying to get paid.
A day always starts better with a plan. In the morning, we went over our plan once again before hopping into an old military vehicle with “MINES” stamped on the side. Driving through the streets of Romania, I was pretty sure the driver’s goal was to see how many of us he could bounce out of the back of the truck before giggling and driving away. It made the drive much more hilarious than it would have been on its own.
Once again, we walked the streets of Giougu to collect the children. Today I focused on the lifestyle of the families that lived here. I was super stoked to see a little guy wearing a Detroit shirt and I have no idea how he would have been able to get his hands on it. Jessica knew a woman who worked the streets and needed help with firewood for her family.
And this sweet soul that I fell in love with the second I laid eyes on her. Everything inside of me knew that she was a kind and gentle and loving woman with a heart bigger than she should have. Jessica and her have a very unique relationship. I pray that I am able to spend more time with this woman before my time here is over. I only have one more day in this community before we move to camp week for the kids in Romos.
We prepared new lessons for these kids and the photography team would rotate through basic lessons for the older kids. We also had some devotionals ready for them as well. The game team, craft team and story team all had new activities relating to the gospel that we would rotate the other kids through. After each micro lesson, we would send the kids out with point and shoot cameras again to hone their new knowledge. The photography team would follow the kids and help them achieve their “homework” but we would still get asked from the other kids to take a photo of them. They were very drawn to my big camera and asked constantly. I did have a child try to rip my Apple Watch off my wrist out of curiosity. At the very end of the program, we would do a short skit and the kids always LOVED them. All I can say is that Bob the Sheep is a baaaaaad sheep and God still loves him…
At the next community, Seth decided to pull out his guitar and play through the streets as we rounded up all the mini humans. It looked like the Pied Piper of Gypsy kids. Probably the most adorable thing I had ever seen.
This community was much easier to teach and work with because they did have a school and better housing arrangements. They were all very eager to learn and practice. I had an amazing girl named Sephora, which is super gorgeous before I made the connection with the retail store.
I really love detail shots and I wanted to show her how to connect leading lines and the rule of thirds with details. I really love this shot of her baby curls on the back of her neck as she was looking at the back of her camera.
I also did a very basic posing technique with our translator, Sarah.
Skylar loved playing with the younger kids outside the center when we were done. The little ones just loved her and would run away from her waiting for her to come chase them and carry them back. Two other boys would ride their bike and spray her with a squirt gun.
Aria is teaching perspective in this shot…which I love!
I showed Sephora how to use the leading lines Aria was teaching.
We also tried some action shots and more of Bob the Sheep.
After dinner we did some praise and worship on the patio during a splendid golden hour.
This is Jessica and her youngest daughter, Rosalee.