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Photo Exhibition: “Ms. Best National Guard”

It was in spring 2019 when Victoria decides to become a National Guard of Latvia. She is twenty years old and works for ferry company in the capital Riga. After different theoretical and practical training during weekends, candidates must pass the last test - rather demanding physical and also mental test of 16 days military camp in campus and also in the forest. Victoria was not an athlete nor in any other way was very prepared for it, but her will to challenge herself, especially being on of the very few women, was her main source energy for daily struggle. It had turned out to be much harder the she expected and the whole new military world at some point seemed too big to swallow. Never the less, the team work, motivation to become more useful for one’s country and learn many new things was driving her towards the goal. It took her about 10 days to become the best candidate of the day from our group of 11 people and she was also given the title of the Best National Guard from the whole section of 30 people who were passing the test.

I had started to document my compatriots almost from the first day as I just couldn't resist capturing the unique atmosphere that was created by the light and emotions, that were very frank as I also formed part of the same training and was in equal position with others. I started to share my pictures with them and got even closer to my heroes, as they valued my commitment.

On a technical side I didn't hesitate that I want the pictures to be in black and white as I am true fan of traditional grey scale images, especially fibber based silver gelatine prints. On this occasion, being limited by my phones technical parameters, I decide to make almost all the post-processing on my smartphone, getting rid of my own assumption on how should look the perfect image - what matters is the story!