These two beautiful young girls are from the Karo tribe, living in South Ethiopia. When I met them, they were busy putting make-up, that they prepared with clay. A small stick, a leaf or a piece of grass are usually used as a brush.
I went to the Omo river region (Ethiopia) a few months ago and I had the privilege to meet the Suri people. It was rainy season, so the skies were quite dramatic with heavy stormy clouds. On a late afternoon, we headed towards the river near a village, where we met a few people, including these 3 girls who were working on their facial paintings.
Jewels and hairdress play an important role in Himba culture (north Namibia), as they reflect the status of the person who wears them. I remember being impressed by this young girl, in a remote village I spent the night in the middle of the desert. Her hair braids and skin are covered with Otjize (traditional red cosmetics mixture). Like other Himba women, she uses extensions made of goat hair that she sews to her natural hair when she renews the Otjize. This hair style is showing that she reached puberty and is now a woman. She will keep that hair style throughout her adult life.
For me, photography has always been about sharing emotions. With both the people I take photo of, and the ones I share the photos with.
For several years now, I've been travelling the world to meet the last tribes and the vanishing cultures.
When visiting these people, you have no other way of communicating but sharing smiles, looks and emotions.
I met these two young girls from the Himba tribe during a trip in Namibia. They were first impressed. As they were living in a very remote and desert area, I guess the camera was quite a new experience for them.
So we tried a few shots, before I gave them the camera to look at their portraits. I could see joy and happiness on their faces. They suddenly ran away, making me understand I shall not move and wait for them. They were back some 15 minutes later, wearing all their jewels.