My little Peruvian Friend Fredy has taken the plunge. The other day, the church and our crew from New Hope headed out to a river in Yura, just outside of Arequipa, where about 9 people were Baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Among those who were Baptized from New Hope were: Fredy, Benildo, Efrain, Jorge, Maricruz, Estefania, and Paty. For me, it was great to see Fredy take the plunge and make this commitment to God. The reason I say this is because, when he first arrived here at New Hope, he was one of the biggest trouble makers New Hope had ever seen, which is probably saying a lot when you have a home taking in abandoned and abused children. A lot of them come here with all sorts of feelings, but Fredy was the wildest one they had ever seen. He would beat up on girls, talk back to adults, and was just plain old ADHD. But, as of now, he is making good progress. By the time I left, we were great friends, and he had learned what it meant to respect adults and to not beat up on girls (don’t worry, he still thinks they’re icky). So, with the help and love from his Family at New Hope, and most of all, the love of Christ, I’m sure Fredy’s future will continue to be brighter. Please keep these kids in your prayers.
Monthly Archives: April 2009
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I love this photograph that Beatrice shot of her brother Henry (green shirt), Fredy (orange) and Jesus (red). It kind of looks like a serious sandwich, with Fredy being the fun tasty flavor in the middle, and Jesus and Henry being the dry rough bread. In addition to being a fun photo, it’s also great on many other levels: the boys are framed in by the white vertical strips in the wall, there are three people (odd numbers are good for composition), there is a contrast in expressions, the light is good, and they are not placed in the middle of the picture. As of right now, I don’t have a portrait of Beatrice but hope to have one soon.
This photograph was made by Beto, a young boy about the age of 11. Beto is a fantastic photographer and has a very creative eye. When you give him a camera, he always has a huge smile on his face, and he really gets an attitude boost when he hears how much you like his photographs.
However, the difficult truth is that, like other kids at New Hope, this is not Beto’s permanent home. Beto was only here until his mother was able to get things sorted out. It was only a matter of time before one of my photography students moved back with their family; I just never knew when it would happen. Goodbyes rarely happen when someone leaves; one day they’re here, and the next they are gone. Most of the time you find out that someone has left by hearing it through the grape vine.
I only wish I could have said a few words to Beto before he left, perhaps a goodbye or maybe some encouraging words about how much talent he has. Maybe Beto and I will have the chance to cross paths again in the future. I know that the photographs Beto was able to create while he was here will have a lasting effect in his life, and knowing that gives me some joy.
Part of my favorite times in class is when I’m able to go out with the kids and shoot photos with them. They show me a photo they just took, and I tell them “chevere,” which means cool. I love it, because I’m able to point out things to the kids, or sometimes they just stand behind me and shoot whatever I shoot. It’s ok if they copy what I’m shooting, because then they can learn about what I like and how they can get a good grade…. just kidding. But it does teach them to see differently when they see me shooting from different points of views, like lying on the ground, or crouching down, or climbing up something to get the shot I want. Another part I like about the classes is that they love taking pictures of me (just me in general). So when I happened to high five Makiver for a great shot he just took, sometimes they catch those moments, and I am able to put their actual photographs towards future purposes like raising money for more equipment and their future classes. This perfect moment of a high five was captured by Miguel Angel.
What do you think the world needs now? Well, at this moment I’m not really sure what it needs. I’m sure it needs more than I can bear to give. But maybe it or you just need this photograph which Sofia set up and shot. Maybe we can learn from a tiny monkey with a blank stare hugging a giant laughing rabbit. So, if you’re tired of all the awful news you read in the news paper and hear on the radio and on the nightly news, come here for your daily joy with photographs like these. And, maybe in the years to come, you’ll catch the name of a famous photographer and realize you used to see their photographs here.
Whenever we can, Axshel and I have been doing some shots of people jumping in fun poses against the sky as a background. And, currently, we have added animals to our project (though only because no one was around to help us out). I hope all you animal lovers know that this cat was dropped from about 5 feet off the ground; no animals were harmed in the production of this photograph. In the past, Axshel shot some photos of people jumping and so forth which gave us the idea to do more shots like that and do a whole series for our current project, like you see above, though, at one point, we were even throwing stuffed animals up in the air, because no one and no cats were to be found. But anyway, if you’d like to see another post with similar photos in them, please click here: http://www.sethshimkonis.com/blog/?p=630
Like I mentioned in a previous post, little girls are just so giggly. And on top of that, they’re very close. I remember, when I was still in high school, one of my first thoughts about photography was that photography is the thing girls do when they get together in big groups or with their best friend. Why did I think this? Maybe it’s because, whenever I was hanging out at a girl’s house, they always had a ton of photos on their walls of themselves with their friends in group shots at social gatherings. But, none were as artsy looking as this photo taken by Marina of her and Elizabeth’s eyes. I bet none of those girls I knew from high school ever won best photo of the day like Marina.
Pictured above is probably one of the most out going little girls I have in my class. Her name is Sofia, and she is about 9 years old. She absolutely loves photography class. So, I can imagine that she was following Elizabeth around while it was Elizabeth’s turn to shoot pictures, and that is my theory as to why she is in this picture jumping on the bed. However, all the kids bombard me as soon as I walk in to the home with questions about when we’re having photography classes next, so I suppose they all love class equally. I just hope they like it as much as kids love jumping on beds.
Now that I’m an adult, have no kids, and have been working as a photographer for the past 7 years, it’s easy to forget what it’s like being a kid. But now that I’m teaching photography to kids between the ages of 5 and 19, I’ve found myself being reminded daily of my glory days as a kid and how fun it was. One thing I forgot is how little girls can be. They’re so giggly about everything, and they have this funny “boys are stupid” mentality” towards the boys their own age (but boys have the same attitude too, that “girls are stupid”). And, the levels of shyness really show in the critiques and are a bit funny to me. I would say it’s a 50/50 split when it comes to participation with the young girls. Some are very out going and are able to tell you everything about their photos–what they like and why they think it’s a good photo compositionally. And then there is the other 50%, the little girls like Alejandrina who are shy and don’t know why they took the picture or what they like about it. I’m sure she knows more than she lets on, but, when I show her photos in the critique and ask her what she thinks, she never wants to say anything. Or if she does, I can never hear her. However, she still takes great photographs, and if she just likes to take pictures of her friends or her dolls missing their bodies then that’s fine with me.
Nobody is perfect, and that includes you, me, and, yes, even Jorge. Sometimes, he gets a bit frustrated with school work, gets into things he probably shouldn’t, and has picked up some bad habits before arriving at the home. But these are all things we know about, since we’ve all been kids, and all these things can be straightened out with a little bit of guidance and love. Jorge has a very curious mind and personality. So when you have a very active mind, you need to put it to work. We’ve been putting his curiosity and brain power to good creative use by keeping him occupied with a camera. Whenever Jorge goes out to shoot pictures, he always brings back photos that make you want say “wow.” And this photo is a perfect example.