Things don’t always work out nearly as well as I see them going in my mind, that’s for sure. I thought a spur-of-the-moment family photo shoot in the rural coffee hills of Burundi would be a great way to end off our afternoon of collecting coffee from village drop points. Not exactly.
The last time we all attempted to be in the same frame was more than two years ago, and the photographer in me has been hanging my head in shame. We have plenty of photos of our lives with the kids… let me re-phrase. There are plenty of photos of the kid’s lives. We barely have any images of the 4 of us together. It is time to end the family photo dry spell. I set up a tripod in the middle of a dirt road just outside the last village we had collected coffee from, hooked up a timer to go off every few seconds, and hoped for the best.
Goats, cows, bikes and people were passing us. Lots of people stopped to hang out by the camera. At one point, while the timer was still running, a woman came up and grabbed a handful of coffee cherries and pretended she was going to steal them. She was laughing and we were laughing, and of course… that drew a crowd. Crowds emerge in Burundi at the drop of a hat. You think you are alone, walking in the middle of what seems like “nowhere,” and then “boom” 20 people show up. Whenever I have to pee in the bush I just know, someone SOMEWHERE is watching. That’s just how it is.
All that to say, while our family photo shoot was by some standards an epic fail, I don’t see these images as a failure. They tell a story about who we are and where we are spending our lives. Imperfect moments always seem to tell a story so much better than posed perfection. They have a beauty about them that is fascinating because they are REAL. I’m all for that!
Cheers to real life… and to capturing it any way we can.
Read more from Kristy at Long Miles Coffee Project. For daily updates of her adventures in Africa, be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and especially Instagram. To buy Burundi coffee that aids the coffee farmers of Burundi, visit Dogwood coffee and order online.