How I got the photo – Annie Sakkab

2015 NPOY FEATURE, First Place – Sixteen-year-old Karli Martin (left), a Markham Mennonite, and her 15-year-old-sister Kayla enjoy having their hair down in the garden outside their home in Mapleton Township, Ontario, July 25, 2015. Teenage girls within the conservative Mennonite communities start to wear their hair up with a prayer veiling or covering at the age of 15. Typically at the age of 16 or 17, they choose between getting baptized and joining the church or leaving to pursue other lifestyle choices. Most women choose to stay and have a family. (Annie Sakkab)

I was hanging out with the sisters’ family all day for a story I was working on. It was my second day at their house. Around 3 pm, I told the mother I would be out sitting in the front garden to watch horses and carriages go by.

Half-hour later, Karli and Kayla came out to play with their cousins. I started snapping pictures. We had been playing for about 30 minutes when I asked Kayla if it would be ok for her to take off the hair cap and have her hair down for some portraits. Karli had her hair loose already. I took few portraits of the girls separately before I took this shot.


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