Bulembu: photo portraits

I got off to a rocky start on the 2nd day. In what turned into my start-of-the-workday pattern, it seemed to always take 45 minutes before I was able to make clean prints. After powering up my computer and Lee Anne’s printer, I started on the 60 small head shots that would be cut out and put into wooden frames that are cutout to look like a body. The kids decorated them yesterday. My first attempt came out with a couple of horrible-looking green prints that would be perfect for a Halloween party, but maybe not so good for a Christian children’s craft. I ran the diagnostic and it indicated that one cartridge was empty, and the other nearly so. Did it drain out overnight? I replaced both cartridges, and after a reboot and a paper jam, was back to printing out a stack of photos.


By the end of the first day, I’d managed to get a stack of 5×7″ pages printed with a total of 43 head shots that were later cut out in circles to insert in the stick people frames. On the second day, I started to print off what would eventually amount to almost 100 4×6″ prints. I wouldn’t have been able to mass produce so many prints in such a short time if I hadn’t brought along a laptop and a copy of Adobe’s Lightroom software.



The printer turned out to be a high-maintenance item. Besides my daily problems with feeding it cartridges (I eventually used up 6 of the 11 cartridges that I’d brought with me), the printer also needed a lot of feeding. Several times I walked away from the printer for 30 minutes to photograph and video some of the other projects, and came back to find that it had run out of paper or had jammed.

Pictures to fit the decorated frames were printed by the end of the day, so I started a second run of the pictures used for the head shots. This time, instead of printing off just their heads, I printed off the entire picture. Some of the kids had put a lot of heart into the posing process, and I figured they’d be disappointed without seeing the entire photo (also, I figured some of the older kids might not be as excited to see their head on top of a popsicle stick).

By the end of our stay, I’d made over 175 prints.


We decided that it’d be fun to stick all the pictures onto a couple of the dividers in the centre so that everybody could see everybody else’s portrait. The younger kids seemed to get a real kick out of seeing their older brothers and sisters hanging up on the wall.

One Response to “Bulembu: photo portraits”

  1. Marty Rose Says:


    Thanks for capturing so much of the detail that I would have forgotten. Your photos of the kids was my absolute favorite part!