Every year the students (refugees) from SchlaU require portrait pictures which they can add to their CV’s which are then sent to various employers throughout Munich who offer them places to carry out job placements. In addition they can use their pictures for their CV’s for future use. This shoot is always challenging for me however I enjoy every moment. The shoot is always kept on a very tight budget so my equipment is used which includes Elinchrom lighting and various backdrops depending on how I feel the pictures are likely to look for the employers.
The students try to bring a shirt or dress or their traditional clothing to try and look professional. They certainly try and put in an effort. Unfortunately some of the students do not even have their own shirts so I was on hand to offer shirt support! I often have limited time to get to know the students, however they see me regularly enough to know that I am “their” photographer and therefore a level of trust is set. I am providing them with a chance to be photographed in the hope that someone may find their picture appropriate enough to offer them a placement. This is the least I can offer. These children have nothing and to put myself in their shoes is unthinkable.
However, what they give back to me is simply, pure and irreplaceable. A smile, through all the trauma, hurt, pain, loss and god knows what else they have experienced. In a few words…keep fighting and keep smiling.