I only photograph things that inspire me. It is really that simple.
Up until this post, I have not shared with you any images where I was inspired by the personal, or human element.
I rarely take these kind of images, though I am not sure why. Some of my favorite photographers are street or portrait photographers who have a gift for capturing an expression, an emotion…a moment.
While visiting Bhutan, I was overwhelmingly inspired by the people. Their spirit was/is infectious. To describe them as friendly or welcoming is a disservice. They simply radiate joy.
After hiking down from a mountaintop Bhudist temple in Punakha, I encountered this young boy at the entrance to his village. An entrance may be an overstatement, as we simply walked into his family’s backyard via a path through a rice field. Without knowing it, we interrupted his father washing his own hair with the aid of this boy's older brother and a gourd of water from the family well. I felt immediately embarrassed and wanted to turn around and leave them in peace. Our guide saw my hesitation and encouraged us to continue. He exchanged pleasantries with the father as if they were lifelong friends and the father smiled at us unfazed by our intrusion…as is the way in Bhutan.
This boy in blue was delighted by our arrival. He quickly left his brother’s side and followed behind us as we wandered through the rest of the village. He never said a word, but he was never more than two steps behind us. We exchanged smiles several times and as we were about to exit the village, I turned to say goodbye. It appeared that he did not want us to leave, but he knew that he could not follow us any longer. That is when I took this photo. I always wanted to remember this moment.
I spent only minutes in his company, but his curiosity and excitement at meeting us is something I will never forget.