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December 1, 2013

The art of a global woman

Herbi M. Francis's yen to travel began while listening to her father's exploits far away from Akwesasne

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AKWESASNE —

“Through travel and hard work, the human interaction, all these intersections influence how I capture, release and create. It all feeds my artistry. It is what makes up my artistic anthropology.

“At the end of the day, we’re all citizens of humanity; we’re all beings in existence. Capturing the connectivity of a relationship in existence ... is my passion.”

MAGICAL MOMENTS

The photography started at 10 when she picked up her mother’s old cameras around the house.

“Once I had my hand on a camera, I just started experimenting with what I was seeing in the magic of the moment,” Herbi said.

“It really pushed the envelope of my self-discovery and my being comfortable in my own company.”

At 17, she had a 35-mm camera. In high school, she learned the ins and outs of a wet darkroom.

“I definitely appreciate the art. If I had the equipment for that, I would love to get back in that.”

From ages 15 to 19, she was in front of a camera as a model with Angie’s Models & Talents and Barret Palmer International.

“I did a little bit of runway out of Ottawa and Montreal but more advertising for commercial programs and campaigns where they needed a Native minority.

“It really taught me how to be able to have a thick skin to take constructive criticism, especially with situations in meeting people and not fitting people’s expectations of what they were looking for in the modeling industry.”

While posing for the camera, she was captivated by the creative aspects of a photo shoot and what makes it interesting.

“To learn angles and faces and how to work your body in front of the camera and how to work your angles,” she said. “It helps me to understand how you capture someone else in front of the camera.

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