What I learned in Panama

Ana Isabel Photography Travels

Posted 04.26.2017 Family, Portrait, Travel

On a sunny and warm afternoon, my friend Janell and I lounged in the backyard of her grandparent’s home in Panama. With beer and fresh sangria in hand, made by her abuela,  Janell began the story of her grandparents.

After her grandfather Herman served in the US military, he retired in his home country of Panama. When they both joined our conversation, I asked Herman how he met his wife, Erlinda. With a smile on his face, he said he had seen her across the park, walked up to her, and told her she was going to marry him. Erlinda turned to him with a giggle. She said the real story was that Herman’s friends dared him to ask her out and he mustered up the courage to talk to her.

As we all laughed about their stories, I began asking more about their 61 years of marriage. They talked about the balance of maintaining a lasting union, and the sacrifices made to preserve their bond. That’s when I realized that photographing them was going to be special.

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As Janell and I chatted more during the trip, it was very obvious that having a strong relationship with her grandparents was important to her. When I first met her, she had just gotten back from Panama and has traveled many times to see them since.

I wanted to gift them portraits to thank them for hosting us and I wanted the photos to represent how Janell sees them: at home in Panama, enjoying each other’s company.

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It wasn’t until I got back and framed the images, that I realized the emotions they hold. It fueled my passion for photography because it is reminder that I can capture memories through my images that can be relived for years to come.

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Thank you Janell for a wonderful trip and Herman & Erlinda for your hospitality!

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