Takoradi market, Ghana, October 2012
Most of the market owners and people trading their wares at the market were very unwilling to have their picture taken. The men seemed uninterested in me, but the women were mostly quite aggressive towards me not taking their picture.
Then I came across two young women sorting chilies and sat down in front of them. I introduced myself as someone who will be traveling often in Ghana. I stated that I had no money, but would return to buy their stuff when I could. I asked them why everyone was so unwilling and angry about having their picture taken.
They said that they were embarrassed about how their hair looked and they had been working all day and did not want to look bad for the photo! I couldn't help myself, I burst out laughing. I shared with the women some images of my daughter on my phone, about how she too was always obsessing about her hair.
We talked about how even though my daughter lives halfway across the world, some things are common amongst all girls. I asked her if I could please take her photo and assured her that I thought she was beautiful. She agreed and hence the photo was delivered of a young girl, looking (quite relaxed) directly into the camera.
I will treasure our conversation and never make assumptions of anyone's behavior towards a camera again, but will take the time to introduce myself.
- This postcard comes to us from MatadorU student Natalie Raffield.