In a world where an expensive camera and a nice picture are hard to come by, you get creative when you take just a couple of family pictures. Family is very important in Kyrgyzstan and just like it is for us, we like to see how the kids are growing, we like to give grandparents a snapshot that they can gaze lovingly at and we like to hang pictures of the whole gang proudly on our living room wall.
Probably the most prevalent camera in all of Kyrgyzstan is the camera in people’s cell phones. I often get to see someone’s entire ‘photo album’ when they whip out their cheap little cellphones and show me pictures of their whole family. These pictures are never good enough quality to be hung on a wall. So, for the times that they want to take a picture that they can really look at, they get really creative, go all out and make it an incredible picture!
So, on holidays there is money to be made creating a truly spectacular scene for those wanting to buy a picture. It is really fun to walk around the central square in Bishkek and check out the plethora of different settings for fabulous photography. Often the date and the current holiday are proudly portrayed in the picture and the kids get to sit on cool toys to either make them happy or at least make them smile for the camera. I don’t think they are too enthralled by the animals, though, as this little boy seems to be having a bit of a tough time with the dove on steering wheel. Either that or he was really hoping to take the car out for a spin instead of just posing next to it.