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The International Baha’i Convention, held every five years to elect the Universal House of Justice, makes the Festival of Ridvan all the more special and exciting. I have never attended Convention, but I love following along as it unfolds thanks to the Baha’i World News Service. This year, I relished in all the photographs taken by Edit Kalman, a delegate from Hungary and a talented photographer. Her stunning portraits are radiant and overflowing with love and joy — I just had to ask her all about them! Before we get to her answers about her photographs, her participation at the International Convention and the role of photography, here are just a portion of her vibrant smile-inducing images:
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a photographer as well as a marketing and communication specialist. I have spent the last 15 years in higher education marketing and had many opportunities to work with students from all over the world. I also have a keen interest in traditional art forms, especially textiles and embroidery. Representing Hungary at the International Baha’i Convention, I was proud to wear a beautiful traditional costume from the Matyó region of Hungary.
What inspires you?
Photography is like a journey for me. I am searching for the signs of Love everywhere. We all share a common path and I am interested in capturing the soul searching for its origin and its goal. Sharing our joys and sorrows are all steps on this common path towards understanding one another better and nurturing unity.
Could you tell us a little bit about the photographs you took during the International Convention?
To be present at the International Baha’i Convention was a very special privilege. When you suddenly find yourself among people from more than 170 countries, it is an unparalleled experience. I think I was awe-struck by the beauty of diversity, the love, joy and excitement I saw at the Convention and I just had to try to capture that. In the course of the Convention, I took about 230 portraits but I truly wish I could have captured all the delegates present. They were all so very radiant. It was heart-warming to receive many kind messages from people I didn’t know as they enjoyed seeing the many different faces in the portrait album called Precious Souls.
I also created another album about the Baha’i Holy Places and gardens. If you look at some of those photos, you will realize how similar the Baha’i gardens are in representing the beauty and diversity of the human family.
Do you have any words of encouragement for anyone thinking of taking up photography?
Once a famous photographer told me the best advice she would give me is to always follow my heart. It sounds very simple but it is very true. Her words still inspire me when I set out to take photographs.
Thank you so very much, Edit, for taking the time to share this with us! We really appreciate it!
Find all of Edit’s portraits from International Convention and her photographs of Baha’i Holy Places on her Facebook page.
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