“It seemed right, too – mechanical devices would interrupt the reverence of the ceremony.” ~ Cherel Ito
In an age whereby there is little regard for privacy by the media, there was a time when taking into consideration a subject’s desire, or not, to be photographed did exist. Photographer Cherel Ito fully understood that her best shots, through the lens of her camera, would come out of respect for her subject and not by having a dream fulfilled by capturing the most sensational shot.
When Cherel visited the Indian Nations, she wrote of having “fantastic photographs in her mind but prohibited by the reservation.” She was ever respectful of the Indians, and showed reverence for their ceremonies. Never would she have dreamed of violating the wishes of her subjects. She was sensitive like that! Sensationalism was not what Cherel Ito was about as a photographer, anyway. As stated in her journal writings “she only took photographs when she had permission.” She never went beyond her own personal boundaries of what she felt was ethical. She shot from a different perspective – out of empathy, sensitivity, caring and respect.
Cherel found that few Indians allowed themselves to be photographed. This regal, honorable Indian Chief, so proud in his native headdress, was captured on film. We must surmise that he allowed Cherel to photograph him because of the trusting relationship she had built with her subject, and the respect he felt for her interpretation of Art.