In one of the many corridors through the Central Temples at Angkor, in Cambodia, a Khmer woman and her daughter sell incense and offerings to tourists. On a particularly hot day, too warm to venture from their cool stonework position, the girl in red pyjamas was bored and tired from staying polite and still all afternoon. As I approached with a smile and sat to rest across the central walkway, the young girl tugged at her mother’s sleeve as a way of asking permission to come and say hello. This shot was captured after the woman had looked my way to see my reaction to the request, but before she’d given the nod to her daughter. I love the knowing smile on the mother’s face, and the daughter’s expression of boredom with the present, wistful for a new adventure.
Many passed in the short time the girl in the red pyjamas and I got to know each other- we shared smiles, looked at each others hands and faces and we shared a drink of water on a hot day. But this shot reminds me of the second I spent with her mother- in a busy hallway, with a sense of serenity and a recognition of the value of her patience- and the time to share a smile.