With a camera around my neck, a keyboard in my hands.

esther atosha
Posted August 26, 2020 from Democratic Republic of the Congo
Naomie
Naomie is 4 years old she's very intelligent and funny .she said she will be a model and a teacher.
Grandpa YONA
Grandpa YONA (1/13)

Hey,

Do you know that happiness is a complex concept that varies from one person to another?

For Matthys for example, happiness is sleeping in a nice house, having a nice car and a filled bank account.

Few months back I met Yana and Rebecca in a village from eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An old couple with 14 children and more than 100 grandchildren. they live together for 65 years now. I asked them what does happiness represents to them. They replied that happiness for them is summed up on:

- Meeting the love of your life,

-Have a white hair next to your husband or wife,

- lose teeth in your mouth and walk with a stick (getting old)

- being surrounded by your children ,grandchildren and your music

- share your past experiences .

To prove that happiness is a complex concept, Rebecca spoke again by saying to me, “my daughter, this is our own concept of happiness. We are part of an old school where several things were not within our reach. For us, biological conditions, social, religious and ethnic affiliation limited our concept of the word happiness. Children were the only wealth and happiness people like us could have. I'm glad that's no longer the case. Now there are several ways at your fingertips to enjoy true happiness such as this opportunity of being women and have responsibilities out of homes. For us it was not the case. That It is also happiness my daughter»

From then on, I tried to understand what made me happy. Little by little I discovered that I feel enjoyable being in front of and behind projector lights. For me happiness is capturing unforgettable moments, be in front of a camera pleading marginalized rights and writing to the world as am doing now.

At first glance, mentioning photography, many people immediately think of learning a new technique, knowing your camera, adapting to digital technology, mastering image processing software and all the complexity that this type of photography generates.

Besides being technical, capturing an image has several benefits that could change the world’s perception. Looking through my camera’s lens has allowed me discover the world and see it differently.

I often walk wearing my camera around the neck. One day I was walking in a village located 500 km from Bukavu / east of DRC. A group of children followed me, I did not understand why. I said hello to them, they asked me what the hell was going on. I told them it was a camera. The children seemed completely lost.

I spoke again, explaining to them that the device captures images of everything around us; the images can be printed and be watched even in 100 years, the devise makes you feel close to your environment. I told them that everyday problems, without being monstrous, sometimes ruin my morale. A photo trip is a simple and effective way I reduce my daily stress. My camera’s lens captures attention and makes me quickly forget my problems

. They asked me to take them pictures and come back to them after they become teachers (their big dream is to go to school and speak French language).

With my camera, we found beautiful children to whom poverty robbed their childhood, Poverty prevented them from having a normal life like other children, but today my photography has brought them to the world.

While looking at these children through my camera lens, I did not see the needy children. Rather I saw children full of hope and goals (they told me to come back later when they are already teachers).

I like the bond between writing, photography and digital technology. These 3 friends help me to expand. They connect me with nature, environment and the whole world. It is because of them that you are reading me, it is because of them that Yona, Rebecca, and children are displayed on your screen

MY PHOTOGRAPHY, MY KEYBOARD AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY FOREVER

 

This story was submitted in response to From Poetry to Paintings .

Comments 42

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Hello, dear Esther,

Wow, I didn't know you are a photographer, too! You're so talented. Indeed, a picture paints a thousand words. Sometimes, it's better to show an image than talk about a certain situation.

I love how you collect stories with your photos. You could be a photojournalist because you write well, too. I love the concept of happiness share by Yana. I could wrapped those insights into one: LOVE. He and his wife are surrounded with their children, and their relationship revolves around love. But you're right, defining happiness can be complex because it depends on how people perceive it.

I love how you communicate with children and educate them about your camera. Here's a sisterly advice, love. Make sure you secure permission from parents when you post children's photos. That is part of children's right to privacy. Usually, it requires a parental signed consent.

Wow, you're planning to celebrate Christmas with needy children. I hope you get a lot of donations! Thanks for sharing! I really enjoy reading your post. Please keep writing!

esther atosha
Aug 26
Aug 26

hey keren !
thank you so much for your comment and advice , i really appreciate.
yes, apart from what I do, I am a photographer, I am a fashion designer to and I have not finished discovering myself.
may be i will look at that side of photojournalism....lol

I was supposed to post the same day I saw the offer but I didn't because I went to contact parents of these children to ask for their permission , they allowed me to share theme.
I do have pretty photos more than these one I've shared but I posted only these few of those who granted
their permission.
Thank you for your wish
hope you're safe and well

You're welcome, dear sister Esther! Whoa, you are a woman full of talents! Awesome! You can be a photographer, fashion designer, model, and even a photojournalist, dear. Who says you can't?

Great job on asking permission, dear! Yes, please keep those photos of yours coming. Please stay safe when taking photos. We don't want the coronavirus near you, ever!

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

No one dear ...lol
thank you so much for your insightful comment .
sure i will!
my wish is the same for you.
enjoy your weekend

You're welcome, dear! Thanks, too! Stay awesome!

Jill Langhus
Aug 26
Aug 26

Wow, Esther! These photos are amazing! Do you have a site for your photos, i.e., Behance, Unsplash, Flickr? I need some great ones for Liluye that will inspire, engage and resonate... powerful ones, like these!! XX

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

Thank you dear,
currently i don't have any site . i you want some i can send you some inboxe

Jill Langhus
Aug 29
Aug 29

You're very welcome!

Do you have any of women sewing or in a workshop type setting?

You could build a free, online portfolio on Behance? This is mine: https://www.behance.net/jlanghus/moodboards

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

i think i have some picture of women sewing

thank you for sharing dear

Jill Langhus
Sep 04
Sep 04

Oooo, really?! I would love to see them.

Please email them to me and let me know if you would like me to give credit for them on the website?

You're welcome:-)

Isaura Diniz
Aug 26
Aug 26

Esther, what a powerful post, along with great pictures.
Thank you for sharing!

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

thank you so much Isaura

Chi8629
Aug 27
Aug 27

Thank you for sharing Sister.
You are loved.

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

thank you dear

Nini Mappo
Aug 28
Aug 28

Your photos are beautiful, and your stories captivating.

Through your story, I learnt something new, that a camera can be a tool for compassion too, and not just one for pleasure. Well done Esther, and thank you for sharing. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the world of the happy people you met through your lens!

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

thank you soo much dear!
i hope you're having a great weekend

Moutushi Dey
Aug 28
Aug 28

Hi Esther, thank you for sharing their stories and their beautiful pictures. I love how you defined happiness. Please keep sharing your work with us, photography is a powerful tool to drive social change!

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

yes indeed Dear.
that is photography ...
thank you for your comment . stay safe ❤

Hawwah
Aug 28
Aug 28

Dear esther,
Reading your piece made me glad to have a camera.
Thank you for inspiring me to love the lens.
Your story is so captiva6and true.
I shall share the story of my own romance with the lens someday.
In live and sisterhood,

Hawwah.

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

woow Hawwah.
i can't wait to ready your journey with camera .
thank you so much for your comment
❤❤❤

UCHE LIN
Aug 28
Aug 28

Good job Sss Esther!
These pix is out of world experience for me. I like your phrase "Capturing is your happiness". Indeed with what you're passionate about, doing it with utmost sincerity. You're inspiring others to discovers their hidden potentials.
Keep up the good work!

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

thaaank you dear
i really apreciate .
in sisterhood❤❤❤❤

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 28
Aug 28

Dear Esther,
This is a very beautiful and lively narrative. You bring to life images both with your camera and your words.
I like the way Rebecca looks at the concept of happiness, being content with what we have or finding that thing which brings us happiness and contentment.

I like the way you ended the story as well ... 'I like the bond between writing, photography and digital technology. These 3 friends help me to expand. They connect me with nature, environment and the whole world. It is because of them that you are reading me, it is because of them that Yona, Rebecca, and children are displayed on your screen

MY PHOTOGRAPHY, MY KEYBOARD AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY FOREVER'
Couldn't it be good if you are there to capture again the time these kids grow to become teachers?

Keep writing and keep capturing memories with your Camera.

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

yess indeed ,
i wish i could meet them in coming days . By the grace of God i believe that it will be possible .
i am touched to see the feeling you had reading this post.
that's why were here to share .
in sisterhood

Rebeca
Aug 28
Aug 28

Love the way you told us about your passion Esther and you do sure take great pictures even your writing skills compliments the image and I love your definition of happiness. It so amazing how happiness differs for each individual, glad you found yours.
It is one of the greatest gift of life

esther atosha
Aug 29
Aug 29

i am heartly touched my your comment dear .
thank you soo much.
i appreciate

Chinyere Kalu
Aug 29
Aug 29

Hmmm! Truly Esther, happiness is relative.
Thanks for putting smiles on those children's faces and I really hope you go back with the pictures when they have become teachers (lol).
Kudos once more!

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

hello chinyere!
meeting theme later is one of my vows
thank you i hope you're safe!

maryamaku
Aug 29
Aug 29

good one

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

thank you dear

lemonadelemon
Aug 30
Aug 30

Such a great job. Let the photos talks

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

lemonadelemon,
yes thank you

Regina Afanwi Young
Aug 30
Aug 30

Hello Esther. What a great write up dear. I agree with you that happiness is complex and relative too. Lovely pictures. I love especially the smile on the little girl's face.
Keep up the good work dear. Love to read and see more of your photographs.

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

Regina,
thank you so much .
I Hope you're having a good weekend.
hugs

Leonida Odongo
Aug 31
Aug 31

Dear Esther,

This is beautiful .Capturing moments in a timeless way.Thank you for sharing this with the world.

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

Dear leonida
thank you so much

Kike
Aug 31
Aug 31

Beautiful photos to go with your beautiful writing. Do you have an online portfolio where you share your photos? If not, I think you should create one! Good luck as you continue to discover yourself Esther, and thanks for sharing.

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

dear kike,
i don't have any currently .
i use to consider photography as one of my relaxation time. but i will think about creating one .
thank you

Julie Desai
Sep 02
Sep 02

That is true happiness

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

hello dear julie,
thank you

Sujit
Sep 02
Sep 02

Lovely story. How refreshing!

esther atosha
Sep 04
Sep 04

happy to hear that dear Sujit
have a good day