Portrait Photography Project: The Silent Pilgrims

There are so many different areas  of life to explore with portrait photography. Some can be planned & prepared well in advance. Others, like this location photography portrait, can be undertaked when the opportunity presents itself. This location portrait photography project wasn’t planned.  When I met this group I realised it was too good an opportunity to miss. 

These location portrait photography images are of deaf pilgrims reciting the Hail Mary prayer. I captured these portrait images in 2014 in Medjugorje in Herzogovina, part of the country now known as Bosnia Herzogovina. 

Every personal project presents it’s own challenges. I shot this location portrait project. I had to commincate & direct this group of deaf people without any knowledge of sign language. However they were amongst the most genial contented people I have ever met in my life.

The Church in the background of these portrait photography images is the main church in the town.

Like my other portrait photography projects I want to pose some questions to you the viewer:

How much does a deaf person miss out on due to loss of hearing?

Does having a sign language compensate sufficiently?

How much of our personal identity is constructed using words and language?

How much of our communication as humans is based oin sounds & hearing?

How much of our cultural & group identity comes from language, dialect & speech?

Is silence really golden & if so are the rest of us missing out?

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