Taking portraits for me involves someone having to put themselves out there and say “take my picture!”. Most of the time I’m distracted by a rouge butterfly who won’t stand still, or patiently waiting for the sun to set or finding the best vantage point of an inanimate object.
One a recent trip to the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, I stopped by this lovely village where I could see some lovely orange warehouses from the road. I had recognized them from some images I had seen online. I loved the clean, bold colors and the simplicity of their design. The warm sun at that pre-dusk hour made them even more stunning. They are now places where many families live and work.
We pulled over and I reached for my camera. All of the sudden I realized that a group of kids noticed me and were now checking out what I was doing. I’m sure that they were a bit confused on why I would want to take a photo of something so boring to them. A smiling and friendly young lady and her group of followers were directly in-between me and the colorful converted warehouses. And, the photoshoot soon commenced. They all seemed quite intent on getting a photo made of themselves. If they were game then I was fine with it. The kids of this small island country, like most kids anywhere, are very friendly, curious and not shy of the camera. I’m the shy stranger. Reluctantly, I took a few images and showed them the results. I was happy to oblige them even though I have mixed feelings about it. I mean, what would I actually do with these images? Privacy is a big deal these days, and I don’t want to invade theirs.
The images below are of some of the younger occupants who had a great time hamming it up for the camera. I feel these are images that captured kids being kids. Happy, playful and curious. They were outgoing and fantastic modals. It was fun practice for me the shy portrait photographer. I just wish I was able to get these to them. Maybe I’ll return someday and bring prints along.
According to the CIA World Fact Book, the smallest African nation of Sao Tome and Principe’s 200K+ population is 41 from 0-14 years old in 2018. These curious kids represent the island’s future. I wish them well…keep smiling :D