Young Model Photo

Young girl modelling

My five-year-old daughter Emelia, trying out modelling and was very good in front of the camera. The challenge to photograph young people is to be able to work fast so they do not get bored or distracted.

She is lit by two Canon 550 flashes, with one shooting through a soft box and the other shooting through a honeycomb.

1/30 shutter with f3.5 aperture @ 50 ISO.

Young model modelling

Orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre

A smiling boy at the Orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre

A visit to the orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre

I had the privilege to visit the orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico in December of 2000.


It was a great experience and it was the first time I had to work with lots of children around me and documenting them in their environment.


I was amazed to see the joy and curiosity in these children, even after all their life troubles they have gone through. Their smiles and openness melted my heart.


The people I travelled with left the orphanage to do a scenic tour of one of the National Parks nearby, but I felt it was much more rewarding to stay and interact with the children.


One thing I notice was that they were not camera shy.  It takes lots of patients to get a photo without children jumping in front of the camera, but the more they get to know you, the easier it gets. By staying put in the orphanage I was able to become part of their environment and I could then document them playing and interacting with their friends.


The evening before I left, I loaded my computer with all the photographs and showed the children the a slideshow of what I have photographed.  It was a big hit as they laughed and watched them selfs and their friends on the computer screen.


It was really hard to leave them behind when I left. Tears were shed, both by me and the children. I felt connected with them on a deep level and to this day I still think of them.


I still have a wish of going back to document it again, to bring more awareness to the public about all the good work that is being done to these children.


You can read the story about the Casa Hogar Alegre and the children of Chiapas, at


If you want to know more about Casa Hogar Alegre, or make a donation to the orphanage, please visit their website at .

Week 46

Assignments of photojournalist Mikael Kjellström during Week 46, 2007. Narrated by the photographer. Second time narrating, so a little rusty at first.

Assignments of the week included NHL hockey game, curling, portraits, an abduction and more. Work images are copyrighted by the Calgary Herald.

week 46 photographs