Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Isn’t My Child Smiling?

When it comes to the pictures featured on Compassion packets and on the child profiles online, many people comment on the solemn and serious expressions on the face of the children.

Sometimes, the looks are caused by hunger, tiredness or illness.

Sometimes, the lack of a smile is a cultural thing.  In some cultures, it is considered a sign of respect to look serious for photographs.

In some cases, the child has been cleaned up, dressed up, and has travelled up to a half an hour by foot to be ushered into a situation in which they are unsure and possibly a bit scared.

But, on OurCompassion, Kees Boer shared a video and description of a photo session in Bolivia.

Hi, this is my friend Delicia taking a photo of Jose (that cutest boy we found a sponsor for on OC last March or so)  Well, Jose is quite the character when it comes to having his photo taken.
But there are things involved. Compassion has rules when it comes to these photos, so no other children or a dog or something else can really be in the background. Thus when Delicia gets the lists of children to photograph every month, she has to be sure that the children don't get in the way of the one child getting a photo taken.
So, I went with Delicia and the children about 1/2 mile away from the student center. It was a nice little walk. She has the ring thing with her, that she will put in front of the child with the child number with it. This all makes it so much easier to organize these photos. Then comes the hard part, getting that child to stand still for the photo just right and at the same time watching the other children that they don't get into trouble. (like being run over by a car, or falling into something) 
It's not particularly easy. Watch Delicia as she takes the photo of Jose and what happened around that time.

Wow, quite a bit of commotion going on! 

(By the way, if you have a child in Bolivia, you will not want to miss all of the great videos Kees has posted! Click the video above and look at the others he has!)

This post on the Compassion blog also shares some insight into picture day!