While traveling through Egypt, an idea flowed to me. It always starts out as an idea, right? The thought magically presents itself. Or rather, the subject presents itself.

I went on a solo walk through a small village in Luxor called Al Korna. With nothing but my dslr camera, I strolled along the dirt paths, past colorful signs and buildings, with not a single person in sight. It was silent and the temperatures were soaring in the Egyptian summer heat when a little girl appeared, curious and beaming. She offered me her hand as he walked through the empty village. I took a few portraits of her and showed her the pictures, amazed at how viewing a picture on the back of a camera can bring such joy to this little three year old. Soon, her mother and neighborhood friends came out, and we chatted, in the limited ways we could both understand one another, and they invited me for tea in their home. I had read that Egyptians love to offer tea in their homes to foreigners, and I felt safe and comfortable in their presence. Alex went looking for me and magically appeared, of course, and we both sat with them and all the neighborhood kids in their humble home, Alex and I drinking tea and learning about their family. I felt so humbled, sitting in their quaint home, the dirt covering the ground and their roof made of straw. This event sparked inspiration in me.

While traveling Egypt and living in the sea-side village of Dahab, I was delighted to find that our apartment for those 6 weeks was directly in front of the beach with all of the local neighborhood kids splashing, playing and exploring the waters. That’s how inspiration always flows, doesn’t it? It flows when you set your intention and allow it to unfold. It happens when you surrender and put your attention elsewhere. We currently are living in a part of the village called Asalah. I am amazed how ease-fully the Universe flowed this apartment to us in Dahab, and how perfect it is that we are living where all the local children and their families play.

The children here in Asalah are my friends. We help the local stray kittens together and everyday they eagerly ask me to take photos of them on the beach. The other evening, as the sun was dipping lower behind the rugged mountains, they chased me down, all asking me if I posted on Instagram. Instagram! I forget that in such a small village in the developing world, these young children and their mothers also use and love Instagram. As they giggled and made silly faces in front of the camera, I realized how precious and important portraiture is. How it records precious moments of our time here on Earth, how we are able to remember and cherish these moments when we eventually forget them. Portraiture is a true gift, not only for others, but also for myself. I love documenting the children and families I meet along my travels. It allows me an opportunity to present their story, for their story is so worth being told.

Below you’ll find some portraits of the children I’ve met along my journey living here in Egypt.

I hope these images tell a story of the children in Egypt, these children that bring such light to this world we live in.

For more information on the importance and why I love family portraiture, check out my recent blog post here. 

Children of the World / Portrait Series – Egypt

Children of the World: Egypt

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July 30, 2018

Helena Woods is a destination family photographer currently based in France but travels worldwide. She lives for diving the world's oceans, recording her experiences traveling the world on her blog, and documenting moments of joyful and magical human connection. Her style is modern classic, emotive and honest. She believes in wild adventures, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.

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Documenting the joys of childhood and real, emotive connection between families, with a timeless look that's always in style.