I was invited to a Maori family’s party to celebrate the return of a lost daughter. Everyone had been asked to bring her family albums so the lost daughter could see the history she had missed. My friend announced to everyone that I would be taking photos, which gave me a surprising amount of freedom to take whatever I liked. People just assumed I had a right to poke around as much as I wanted, which was wonderful for me.
This photo was taken in the kitchen as various children gathered round while an older auntie looks on. I was using my Tameron 18-270mm lens because it was the only one I brought with me. I shot at 23mm, which begins to stretch its capabilities. Because of the low light, I shot at 800ISO, f/3.8 and s 1/40.
Shooting this family occasion was a pure delight the emotional drama of an adopted daughter returning to the family was immense. In addition, the older auntie at the edge of the photo was in fragile health and we were to soon discover had a terminal diagnosis. This photo shows closeness and curiosity. Others taken that day show a kind of distance.