Second Chance

she grabbed my attention once before.. hanging out the same window... as if that was her permanent place .. like a fixture watching the world go by......

quickly i raised my camera, asking to take her image so as not to miss her resolute composure, and the glint in her eyes, but she balked and, said “no" and i quickly put my camera down in complete respect...

then i came upon her again many months later , completely forgetting the last time , and of course my camera raised again..because i am drawn all over again...and she too again balked.. as neither had changed our position..... i said ok.. but you look so wonderful in that window... .and she acquiesced letting me shoot, me quickly grabbing some images before she began to pose and change her expressions... images i didn't want ,but continued shooting as she felt like a star and seemed so proud... and now was revelling in the attention..

when i am done she decides my skin is too dry from the sun.... and runs into the house to grab some special bottle of oils she says i must put on... and i do so returning the bottle , but she insists i must take it with me ...

i find it fascinating how connections are made..how we warm up to each other when we take down our guards.. just one human being to another...pure and simple...

i continue on my way......both of us with smiles...

when i see her again ..i'll try to bring her back one of the images..

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A Moment of Light


I was driving around in the Semana Peninsula in 2015, in a total stupor, an other worldly fog...... i just had surgery after discovering i had cancer and would undergo chemotherapy in a week.. i was belligerent about that.. i knew it would save my life, but i had been in an internal war, because i saw it as posion.. (believe me i got over it once i understood---life or death)

i looked at everyone in front of me , lives looking jovial.. healthy... long flowing hair on women as i was expecting mine to fall out.... 

i put on my happy face.. grabbed each day with complete nina vigor; beach, sea , food, drink, camera camera camera....driving to get lost... my favorite of all favorites

it was one of those trips i had anticipated where there would be so much for me to shoot.. but it wasn't as rich for me as i expected... maybe because i was different.. my inner calibration was so off....

but in the country on some side road i fell into a short spanish conversation with this woman.. i loved the wildness of her white hair... it was just a moment. .a simple 20 minutes maybe.. but those minutes were precious... and gave me enough lift to find my smile and carry on... 

that is what photography does for me.... why my love mostly, but not entirely rests with capturing the nuances of people...... observing them.. talking to them.. connecting the dots between daily lives....different realities... it makes one feel so supremely alive.... 

80 percent or more of my images i can remember the exact moment. i remember who i was talking to .. where i was.. not a fly by... it's like this grand family of mine in pictures.. because over the years you see the images.. current and past. and they become part of you...your history

"Photo - Nina Weinberg Doran. Her work has textures and contours that have a clear voice - a very human one. This photo really hit me - because of the many women that live in me - she is one of them.” Susanne Ramirez de Arellano”

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The Power of Connection

when i think of my photography.. what has inspired me and got me hooked from the very beginning........ it's what i feel when i want to approach a subject...or have something in mind to shoot... i have always felt a beat inside my chest...excitement maybe.... like a sonar device beeping loudly..... telling me when I’m close to something hot that resonates for me

it usually begins with the power of connection. i feel something.. i see something out of the corner of my eye~ in another that i relate to.. that stirs me.. evokes some emotion.. interest..or peeks my curiosity... i just want to move in a little closer..observe....... to examine it... usually it's something small.. a nuance...

this also makes me realize that when people are not connecting.. relating.. there is a feeling of distance.. . ..isolation.. being unseen or unheard.. just invisible at times too...

i think a lot of the discord between people of different cultures.. religions.. political affiliations..... friends... lovers.... is that there are barriers within ourselves..from beliefs, state of mind, anger, unresolved issues....distortion, misinformation or lack of education...

we hold on tightly to our stance, sometimes without budging or knowing we are doing that..... unforgiving..... and yet.. we all just pretty much want the same things....to live a fulfilled peaceful life... in tandem with others....harmony.. peace.... Love.... and connection........ 

if we could just be more yielding.. open.. and push ourselves to see.. listen. observe.. to not go to our defaults..we’d all be better off......change is dependent on pushing for a new viewpoint.. a different lens ------first on ourselves....... and then on the world..

photography brings me closer to myself..my heart... my spirit.. what i believe.. feel... what i want to share... it brings me closer to others i might not have had the chance to meet or talk to...... and broadens my deeper sense of connection to the world at large.. if i can feel this peace.. and deepening connection within it only empowers me to form the same deep connections with others...it’s what makes me feel alive....

Life and Death in Guatemala

walking in the hot sun .... my feet are beginning to tire and kill me.......i've been up and down alleys... i decide to drive a bit to higher elevations ... then down..giving my feet a rest... when i notice i can not get by.. there is a gathering below........

so i leave a diff route, but not before i see what is going on... i thought a wedding. a fiesta of sorts.. but it was a funeral.. this is the third time i've experienced this.. .. each time a bit different from the last .......

the men are lined up in long aisles.... the women behind.. music is playing.. horns.. guitars... men at first carry the coffin. later the women.... 

i am following,. trying to keep up. so excited, my heart is pounding. this is what i live for....... .. im up and down on sidewalks, trying to keep pace.... even falling off one and almost dropping my camera.. falling into the crowd, where others caught me... but i made it.... continuing all the way up through horses carrying wood to the cemetery... a whole other incredible experience.

what a day... just a taste here.. more later.. these kinds of moments set me on fire.. alls well with the world. part of something greater. life and death in guatemala...



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I Live for Moments Like This...

there she sits where i've seen her before in previous years....her face all wrinkly and aged with the history of so many years lived... she tells me she is 88 ..

i wonder about all those years... what's in a face?? what do i see? what does she see in me? her face seems like a road map with all those deep lines..

joining her on the curb, after exchaning smiles.. she pats my arm..i touch her hand....and share the sweet pastry i just bought, as we watch the world go by..

i live for moments like this.. simple but so satisfying...

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In Strength

The hand of my mother on the left.. a few months before passing, pretty much stuck to her bed.. holding the hand of Grace… a person my father brought into our lives as a family.. from Shanghai, China.. she was their tour guide and became a friend.. pen pals.. so much so my dad fought and got the help of congresswoman Nita Lowey to bring her here to the United States.

He found her a place to live.. put her through college.. she obtained her CPA and MBA and since then has her her life change dramatically and those of her family bc of this opportunity… what a legacy!

Long sotry.. but she is like my sister.. became a US citizen… has been here for 30 years.. and through so much with my family.. the highs,. the lows.. the celebrations and sorrows..

but now she is preparing to go back to Asia.. mb for good.. i do not know. because she too has been unwell.. im ver saddened to have her go…

but the strength of those two hands together ..remind me of the srength also inside of me.. and how grateful i am to have had such loving and strong women in my life..

and i guess both japan and china are waiting for me too….

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Fragility of Life

Fragility of life…… so much beauty.. promise.. but life thows curve balls… crasck. creases, bumps in otherwise solid ground and steady terrain… no matter ,, the beauty, the promise always shines through…. might look faded, blurry in the distance… one can’t always see with full clarity.. but in time… things generally come into focus…. become sharp and clear and strong as always amazing thing about time, distance and gentle, loving kindness

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