This photographer’s jaw-dropping portraits capture fragments of the souls of his subjects
August 14, 2018
Photographer Eric Berry’s odyssey through Ethiopia unveiled a series of portraits so gripping and unrestrained, that one feels like they’re gazing at the souls of the subjects. The human element is so delicately captured, allowing a connection to these individuals that portrait photography rarely executes.
“In Ethiopia, I was literally a kid living out a childhood dream. Having seen images of tribes in Nat Geo as a kid, and to be in the Omo Valley twenty plus years later capturing photographs of my own, that was a radical feeling. And let’s face, it’s the cradle of civilization, and walking around cities and towns where everyone looked like you was surreal.” – MÂCHÉ
Berry is an Los Angeles based portrait and travel photographer who traverses the globe, capturing anything that excites him with his earthy and cinematic flair. Follow Berry’s work on his Instagram and his website.
I did not want to take her picture. She was aggressive. Belligerent. Intoxicated. I focused my attention on a #Mursi boy with the face of a warrior, photographing him for an extended amount of time. In the background, I could hear her yelling at my guide, "Foto! Foto! Foto." So when he called for me to come and point my lens at his harasser, I acquiesced … if only for his sake. I thought I'd never publish this photograph because I wasn't mentally or spiritually invested in taking it. I guess I'm sharing it now because I've realized not all portraits should be of people we admire or even like; sometimes they are of people that confuse us. Individuals that are troubled, complex, dark. Those are the people, that like their enlightened opposites, stick with us long after our encounters with them.
This was the little homie. Flower girl. I met her and her friends while walking around a village in Jinka and they followed me and my guide for about an hour. While my guide was showing me how they make injera bread, I noticed a nice light falling on flower girl so I snapped a few pictures. Before I left Jinka to return to my hotel, the girl handed me a 🌺. Literally, that flower which is a Hibiscus. I gave her a bag of cookies and she ran away, her friends on her heels. I hope she shared but wouldn't hate on her if she didn't. #OmoValley #SonyA7ii #SonyAlpha #Culture #African #Africa #Ethiopia #Ethiopian #TravelPhotography #IGTravel #TravelNoire #NatGeo #NatGeoTravel
“Your eyes speak the truth when everything else lies. May pretend that we kin but the vibes don't fly.” The story behind this stare is less sinister than it appears … she’s looking at her reflection in the camera lens because there are no mirrors in the village. Sure someone will report this but enjoy until then.