This is image #24 in my series of 'Making of 40 Photographs'. Chasing an image is just what it is : chasing and I really hate to chase images because it often means that I'm already too late. There's got to be a bit of the fortune teller in being a photographer in order to get the image you see in your mind and when something is happening, that's usually when you should be tripping the shutter.
I think as photographers, we go around looking for a 'moment' and it's our aim to be ready for it too. But I'm always aware that there has to be a pre-emptive phase to what I do.
Take the shot above. This was made in a UNESCO world heritage town called Baktapur in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. I'd been wandering the streets of Baktapur in the early morning smog when I came upon two little girls being led through the street dressed like the girl above. They were a captivating site and as I say : I felt I was too late. Seeing them walking through the street stirred up a panic and frustration feeling in my gut because I knew it was going to be hard to stop them, to convince their parents to let me make an image. So I left the scene and went back to my hotel to let my mood recover from loosing such a potentially great image.
But often serendipity comes calling and later on that same day, I entered a court yard only to find the same girls seated for some kind of ceremony. Everyone around seemed to be waiting. I seemed to be accepted because anything that I did in the courtyard was taken with no great surprise and I found myself getting close to the girl above - perhaps a foot or so away from her to get this portrait. She just seemed to be so relaxed and obliging.
But the point is : the image came to me. I didn't come to the image. I can't force an image to happen when I command it to, and that morning, I'd been trying to do exactly that. It's a form of Karma - I'm sure.
I offer this second image to give a little more perspective to the arranged group in that little court yard I stumbled into. I actually have no memory of making this shot, but it's one of my favourite images.... which I find interesting because I can't really connect it to any memory of my trip.