I felt I needed to get some images from this registration session conducted by UNHCR and attended by some 200 beneficiary of protection about their different options regarding integration, voluntary repatriation or resettlement. The colours of the walls on the staircase and upper landing, as well as the art creations by the schoolchildren who attend school there in the mornings, caught my eye as soon as I walked into the building. I immediately felt they would lend themselves well to a wide angle shot as migrants walked up the stairs on their way to the meeting, particularly if some of the women would be wearing some of the colourful shawls they’re often in. I wasn’t disappointed in that regard.
If there’s one thing I’m not too happy about with this picture, it’s that two people in the frame are looking straight at me. I prefer my pictures to lack any camera awareness on the subject’s part – the image seems more genuine, more of a snippet of real life, if they act as though I’m not there. Evidently, it doesn’t always work out that way. And the more people you have in the frame, the more likely the chances of having at least one person looking straight into the camera.
Sometimes the only solution is to stick around long enough for people to start to forget you’re there and then you can fade away into the background, or they get so absorbed in what they’re doing that they ignore your presence. That requires a lot of time, and it’s not something one always has plenty of, unfortunate though that may be.
Canon EOS 1D-X
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
Focal length 16mm