Tag Archives: travel

52 Portrait Project – 4/52

Faces of Petra is the theme of this week’s portrait project. Even with the stunning view surrounding us when we were in Petra, the locals had their way to make their presence truly felt. I’m talking about the trading locals who filled the area in front of the Treasury, who were there in throngs, with their various items to sell and animals for hire. We’ve got a wide selection of items to buy from them; silver bracelets, necklaces, (claimed to be) authentic old/antic coins, scarfs and postcards. The four-legged variety mode of transportation was also available there. You can choose between camels, donkeys, mules, horses, or, if riding on layers of blankets on top of moving animals is not for you, you can opt to sit like a true tourist princess in one of horse carriages.

Most of the sellers were the local Bedouin from Petra. Back in the 70s and early 80s some of people from the Bedouin tribe actually lived in the caves and resided amongst the rocky ruins around. Not anymore though, as these days no one is allowed to live inside Petra for better preservation of the area, so now the Bedouins are there only during opening hours to conduct their business.

Back to the portraits now. Here’s Salomon. He’s a young teenage boy with kind eyes, high energy and very little English. We started our ‘relationship’ with a misunderstanding over a price of silver bracelets (he wanted to sell by the grams, while I bargained based on the number of items). We ended up spending most of our day there with him (and his borrowed donkeys), because he turned out being very helpful, though not so informative as a guide. Kind eyes can go a long way, I guess.

the donkey charmer, petra - jordan


These were the postcard selling girls. These girls were very friendly, playful and giggly. I gave them a Polaroid as a souvenir. They looked so happy.

postcard sellers, petra - jordan


These old men were working together in front of Treasury. They dressed as period soldiers/guards, and then went to approach tourists who wanted to take photographs together for some small tips. These two looked tired and a bit sad. After receiving some tips and lots of thanks from us they went off, back to work. On to the next group.

old soldier 1, petra - jordan

old soldier 2, petra - jordan

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52 Portrait Project – 2/52

This week I have a couple of portraits of some Jordanian handicraft workers I met last December. A day before Christmas  we took a tour to visit baptism site, Mount Nebo, and a mosaic town of Madaba. Just a few kilometres outside Madaba we stopped at the big Jordan River Foundation outlet that carries a huge collection of mosaic and other handicrafts. We were allowed to go to the back to see how the mosaic and other arts/handicraft objects were made. That was how I got to meet these lovely ladies.

Jordanian Women at handicraft work


They were sitting side by side behind a long working table; painting, drawing, working, laughing and chatting, and having a good jolly time at work. We came to the room and peeked behind their shoulders to see their work, while the sales assistant/lady guide was explaining us the whole process.

I asked them, via our english speaking guide, whether it was okay to take photos while they were working. The ladies were super friendly and allowed me to take photos. Then I remember that I brought my new toy with me (a Polaroid camera I got for early Christmas), and then started taking pictures of them using the Polaroid camera. I told them that they could keep all the photos I took with the Polaroid camera. They suddenly got very excited, and I started to see more twinkling in everybody’s eyes. The photo above was taken after I took the Polaroid shots. It was so much fun to see them giggling, waving the Polaroid photo, and comparing their photos with each other. There was a lot of laughter and playfulness in that workshop that day, despite our disruption to their work.

checking out polaroid photos


This 52 project is all about people portraits, but I think it would be unfair to the ladies if I did not show you some of their work that day.

ps: for more info about Jordan River Foundation, click here

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