I love kids so I really like to see them in action as the stars of many parades they are participants in. They all seem to have their moods just like their adult counterparts running the full gamut from boredom to completely flipping out over their event. The diversity in response amazes me.
Then, there are always the standout participants who are obviously thrilled over the top to be a part of the goings-on. As you might imagine, these are usually the better fodder to be digested by a camera lens. But, parades are not much of a photographic opportunity for me. I don’t acknowledge photography as a social event and it’s difficult to separate the figures I am interested in from parts of their festive backdrop. The frame often becomes way too cluttered with extraneous elements that are not a part of my pre-visualized expectation. The image’s message can become diluted.
So, even though I love the kids and their many parades that I attend, I don’t make many images during these events. But when something I like shows up and it looks a little different, Katy bar the door! I’ll follow a single participant for blocks or even the whole parade if I think the potential capture could be worth it to me. Well, I didn’t have to do any following or chasing after when I photographed Niña Abeja de Cuenca, that’s Bee Girl of Cuenca for my non-Spanish speaking friends. She was right there, engaging me, center stage as her float rested for a moment at a busy corner
Look, when your eyes are as big as saucers, and you have on yellow bee makeup, bee antennae, a bee costume, a warm complexion and you’re missing two front teeth, my lens is definitely going to be swinging your way.
Her precious stance with her hands up and face set in that expression of amazement, or is it an anticipation of justice, sealed the shot for me. In the moment that the shutter tripped, she had taken on the aura of a super hero. She was transformed into Bee Girl. You’re probably thinking, “Well, what kind of super powers does Bee Girl have?” I don’t know, maybe she points out the best honey merchants in the mercado for you. Or, maybe she can pollinate a field in just two shakes of a lambs tail.
I’ll tell you this, she pollinated my heart with some extra love just like she probably did for many other attendees of the parade. I think she’s going a long ways in life, I sense both strength and compassion in her face. Those two characteristics are definitely a great pair of attributes to take on today’s world. I can tell, she’s going to do it too.
Be sure to get a little sprinkling of her very special pollen on you as she buzzes by. Trust me. You’ll be worlds ahead for it, that’s what my heart told me.