Haiti wedding photographer | shannon kelley » haiti wedding photographer documenting life and love in Haiti | shannon kelley

Masthead header

early in the morning

You see, if you go down almost any road in a city of Haiti you will find it bustling, bursting at its seams almost. Street vendors piled on top of each other selling wares and goods-often feet or inches behind garbage or a small canal with dirty water running through it that line the streets. In front of them other mobile vendors walking around with their wares on their heads yelling out what they are selling. Behind them, first you have wooden stands set up selling other wares and then, barely visible, are the businesses with actual storefronts. Motos and cars all honk for attention as you weave through. Pedestrians vie for space as they can, seemingly the low man on the totem pole in this jockey of space. It’s overstimulating for the person that isn’t used to it. It’s business as usual for those in attendance.

But early in the morning. Sunday mornings in particular. If you go early enough right as the sun is rising. This space, this usual crazy hectic space, is silent. Wood tables are stacked up waiting for their merchants to come set up for the day. Maybe a random chicken or goat weaves in around them. A couple early morning risers make their way with an empty bucket to the well. The first time I saw this, this emptiness, it struck me. It was as if I was seeing it, what I have walked through dozens of times, for the first time because I was able to see it without the layers and pay attention to the details.

It was on that first notice of Sunday morning emptiness that I had an idea in my head that I wanted to photograph. So last Sunday I took (dragged) the kids downtown to put my idea in my head into pixels.

Here are a couple of my faves:

Comments

kanaval 2014

I was thinking yesterday as I painted faces how funny it is to think about our journey of progression with Kanaval in Haiti. I feel like this year I’m getting to experience it a tad like a normal Haitian would with the anticipation of some fun, some knowledge that you don’t do some of the things because it gets crazy, and a little vacation mixed with lots to do. Kinda like when the fair comes to town in America.

The first year Kanaval was only a thing that you knew happened, you got to try to find something for the teams to do because everything was closed, and a scary thing that you avoided at all costs. The second year I got to see it in a village and saw for the first time how it portrays the history of Haiti, is a time of celebration for Haitians, but also a time that can be dark with the masks and jab. This year my weekend if full of things like painting faces on kids so they can go to a little festival a school is putting on, going to a soccer match tomorrow, plans for watching parades during the day and some relaxing with friends who are coming in from out of town.

Here is a look at my first go at face decorating for Kanaval. A lot less glitter was used then most Haitian’s prefer but I called it a success:)

Comments

what matters most

A few nights a week we take a walk through this field. Wind our way through the cut paths made my farmers bringing their cows to the pasture. We cross a little field where they are planting corn and we arrive at an open field to watch a soccer game. It helps me breathe, this walk with these little people. The sky, the palm trees, littles running through a field with abandon, the farmers, the lilypads in the stream that run by the soccer field. It helps me remember what matters most.

Comments

updates of the random kind

Every evening we usually don’t have electricity. This is no complaint because we are actually very very blessed to usually have EDH (electricity companies name) every night. It goes out in the evening and mornings but is on at night and early afternoons. So this is our nightly ritual sitting on the porch when we have no current. Learning to read by flashlight:)

__

January and February are my favorite months in Haiti. You turn on a fan at night and get to use covers because it dips below 90 finally! Ah!

__

Still no loss of a tooth. It is holding on strong.

__

I have killed 2 cockroaches this morning and it is only 7:19 am.

__

Lena has performed 2 songs from Annie (Nana sent it to us and it has been on constant rotation here) and it is only 7:19 am. Going to be a long day;)

__

The giant Mapou tree in town (a large tree that is reverenced in the Voodoo culture here and very significant) fell the other day for no reason. This tree was huge. I passed by on a moto on my way home from getting food at the market and it was quite the spectacle as people watched them work to move it. That and a missing suspected drug dealer have been the topic of nightly news here.

__

Love in Haiti, the research project I have been working on, is kicking my butt this week. I have learned so so much and can’t really put it all succinctly into words yet. But, know this, Haiti is not what it seems. There are so so many layers. Se pa sa.

__

I found cheese…like, the good block of cheddar kind of cheese…at the store this week. I bought it for $4.50 US. I know. I decided it was an investment in my happiness here. And then we ate it in 1.5 days. I decided that it is a good thing they don’t usually have cheese like that available because clearly my budget would be blown on that type of consumption.

__

Lena playing the other day with blocks talking to them: “And now we are going to be building a helicopter. And it will fly around and scare all the babies.” Apparently helicopters have a mission I didn’t know about. To scare babies;)

Comments

Engaged!

This bride to be just makes me happier when I’m around her! She has become a great friend in the midst of her wedding planning and us finding each other. She blogs her wedding planning adventure as a Bride Blogger on Haiti Weddings! So excited for them! I had the honor to do their engagement photos in Port au Prince and we choose the exact street and location of where they first met to use as a backdrop for the photos…which I love as an idea for engagement pictures!

Enjoy!

and the last picture of the day as Lena wanted to join in on the fun.  Kara is possibly the best jumper for pictures ever! I love it!

Comments

UA-7363647-4