Nia Haf Photography

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The Power of a Portrait; Women in Nepal

We’ve all had that feeling when you’re walking down the street and catch a glimpse of someone you recognise but can’t quite place. Their face seems familiar.. I know them well.. but where from? Then it clicks; I have photographed them. In my archive of thousands upon thousands of images, the contours of their face remain perfectly preserved. For some, I’ve spent hours staring into their eyes, making the slightest tweaks to their image. Through inadvertently studying the lines on their face, the shape of their eyes and the tone of their skin I feel like I somehow know that person sweeping past me on the high street. This is the power of the portrait.

As a Documentary photographer, portraiture features hugely in my work. Capturing a powerful portrait is more than just ‘point and click’. On behalf of the photographer, it requires great confidence and control. On behalf of the subject, it requires great trust and transparency. A strong portrait has the ability to create a connection, not only between the photographer and the photographed, but between the viewer and the viewed.

Visiting a remote Nepali village earlier this year, my objective was simple; To tell the locals stories… to an audience over 4,500 miles away, with no knowledge of their local language using the camera as my¬†only form of communication. Such a momentous task highlighted the importance of the portrait and the exhilaration felt when capturing an image of such vitality.

Here are a few portraits of the women I met from Phulkhrka:


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