Shooting Sarah

Kinda funny how things sometimes come back around, even from miles and miles away.

Recently, in New Jersey, I had the opportunity to do a quick portrait session with an incredible woman.

The thing was, I would have, should have shot her four months ago.

In Africa.

See, when I was there in January, part of that photo shoot trip was to include this incredible gal, Sarah Omega Kidangasi (though she often just goes by Sarah Omega.) And me and the crew was all set to do the shoot. We were based in Nairobi for a few days, so the plan was to catch the short flight to Eldoret where Sarah lives, do the photo shoot, hop the short flight and be back in Nairobi in the early evening.

Well….it worked out for everyone but me that day, thanks for a misplaced passport. The team went on without me while I stayed behind to a) look for it or b) otherwise be in touch with the local embassy and work on getting a new one so that I could get back to The Great State of New Jersey.

(I actually the was reunited with my passport about 9:30 a.m., still early in the day but not worth it to catch up to the crew. It wasn’t a total waste…it was that day that I kicked around Nairobi a bit and got the chance to meet Stephen.)

Anyway, Sarah, a survivor of obstetric fistula, is now a spokesperson for a wonderful organization call One by One, based in Seattle. So Sarah, along with the executive director and co-founder of One By One, Heidi Breeze-Harris, stopped by my company to speak with some of us. I was fortunate to finally meet Sarah – she was well-aware of my passport issues and was happy to find out that everything worked out.

So, after the talk, and some lunch, I asked if I could go do some quick portraits of Sarah. Despite all she’s been through in her life, she has a fantastic outlook and a beautiful smile.

I put together a short video of the photo shoot:

(Click here for a larger version of the video on Vimeo)

Tried something new with this video and that is including just some of Sarah’s voice-over to go with the images.

Why that image of Sarah’s hair to lead off this piece?

Inside joke, almost. See, to get back on her feet, Sarah, a hairdresser, got a job doing hair. And, while working, she helped educate African women about fistula, making sure they got help if needed. And every time I see a video or photo of Sarah, she has a different hairstyle. During our photo shoot, I was mentioning this to her and we were laughing about it. Hence, I had to get a shot of her ‘do.

Amazing woman.

Glad I had to go to Africa, and back again to New Jersey, just to meet her.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2011 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS4 or PSE6 and Nik Software.

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