Finally it happened. We had been trying to work out a shoot for a friend’s personal charity project Gift of Reading that supports under-privileged children by giving them access to books, a big comfortable space and other learning materials to help them learn and grow according to their age. It’s really a space to let them be themselves and keep them off the street. A place where they can hangout with their friends and stay away from evils like drugs and eventually crime. It’s painful to see kids at such a young age exposed to evils like drugs. Their parents can’t afford to send them to schools because they’re trying to survive every day. Kids are left exposed to drugs, crime and child labor. Kamya, the founder, has taken this initiative on her own and is doing a great job of giving these kids a chance to be kids again. She’ll soon be launching this as a formal organization to gain the support they need to keep the operations going.
I had been wanting to shoot these portraits hoping to give them some material for their online/print campaign and hopefully these portraits will help them reach more people and get the support they need to keep this place running. The idea was to create simple portraits focusing on just on the kids. The portraits and this library is about these kids, so I focused only on the kids keeping the background free of any distraction. I had another shot in mind that I wanted to create that sounded more like a dreamy scene but time and logistics didn’t permit.
Overall this was a great learning experience for me as a photographer. I made some mistakes which I was expecting to happen. Some stupid ones too that I didn’t expect. But lots of take aways.