The Photograph Explained: Silence for Water Well by Sonia Macak

Silence for the well

Wet plate collodion tintype

Yesterday I met a little girl who would not say hello. Her mother explained she took a day vow of silence to raise money for support of orphans in Zambia where she (the mum) is going to volunteer next month. Mum had a big wish for her birthday – to raise money for a well in the village. So her only 9 years old little chatterbox decided not to speak for a whole day and raise some more funds for a fresh water well.

I was in awe over the little soul so strong and determined not to break this vow. My heart ached for her when her mum shared with me later in whisper how bad Sharnee felt because a word slipped of her mouth, a word most of the children her mum will be spending time with next month, can not say to someone, the word “MUM”, this did not turn her down from keeping her promise and she continued keeping silent and that is how I got to photograph her

I decided to bring the family over to my half finished studio and take a picture of dear Sharnee while she still keeps focused on keeping silent. Her brothers happily swam in the pool, cheered while sliding down the slide and splashing in the water while she patiently posed for me in silence.

Here is the image. A 150 mm x 150 mm tintype, 4 seconds of stillness and silence captured for those in need. 

Sharnee auctioned the image and raised over $300 dollars altogether including her vow of silence sponsorship from other people.

Sonia Macak portrait

Sonia Macak