Wednesday, May 14, 2014

bartering for photos

I love having talented friends!  My friend Tracy of Jacaranda Tree Photography is a photographer.  She works for Flytographer which is a really cool service if you haven't hear of it.  She meets up with people from all over who are here in Ethiopia visiting.  Many people are here for adoption purposes.  Some families are meeting their adoptive child for the first time.  Tracy gets to capture that on film.  Amazing!

Tracy and I bartered a while ago.  I made an ice cream cake and smash cake for her daughter's first birthday. Look at those dimpled little fingers covered in buttercream!  And Tracy agreed to a mini photo shoot of our family.
We had been planning to get a family photo done at the end of our time in Ethiopia.  We wanted to get matching Ethiopian soccer jerseys and be really silly about it.  The soccer jerseys never happened and the girls Easter dressed didn't ship here in time for Easter so we got them dressed in their colorful outfits.  Justin and I followed suit.  
Tracy met us in a road in her neighborhood, we purposefully chose a fairly quiet low traffic area.  Even so, as we started the shoot, a crowd of people gathered to watch the crazy white family taking pictures in the road.  
I find it interesting that this scenery has become so common to us.  This road is actually a nice one.  There was a paved portion of the road and the rest was still drive-able.  I received so many comments from friends and family about how the photos look like they were taken in a war zone or where a bomb must have been dropped.  I actually felt a little defensive towards this neighborhood in Addis.  No way! This is a nice part of town.  I know how strange that must seem, especially to our family who has never traveled outside of America, let alone to developing countries.  The crumbled stone in the driveways, and reebar in the roads is a totally normal scene.  I had to kick away a number of plastic trash bags in front of the pink gate and remind the girls not to touch their shoes or step in dog poop.  Addis Ababa is in a place of transformation.  Lots of buildings are going up and as you are driving down any road, there isn't a moment that goes by you don't see a compound in ruin or an area of road completely torn up.  The "before" Addis is not so great, and the "after" Addis, is still going to be a "war zone" to people who haven't become accustomed to life in the developing world.  There are no curbs or side walks in neighborhoods.  They're lucky to have a paved road.  Trash is everywhere!  It's become quite normal to us and in these photos I find it beautiful.

I didn't mean to ramble, just making some observations.  We looked at these photos and immediately decided they were perfect.  They perfectly capture not only our family at this moment in time, but of our life in Ethiopia.  We're so grateful for Tracy and her talent.  

I think it was a fantastic trade for cake!

Tracy edited the photos two different ways and was nice enough to let me have them all!  I tend to prefer really bright crisp photos but the matte filter is really pretty too.  Which do you prefer?

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