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Lady with the lens

Sherie Holder-Olutayo

Lady with the lens

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Marcille Haynes will be the first to tell you that there is a certain boldness that comes with being over 60. That was a big reason why the 64-year-old photographer recently entered the Sol Caribbean Mirror Photography Competition, an international competition sponsored by the British High Commission and Arts in Motion.
“I realize that being over 60 makes you brave because you’ve already gone through all the stages of womanhood, and you realize that you’ve been given so much that you have to give back,” Marcille said.
Couple her personal beliefs with some outside peer pressure, and Marcille definitely felt she had to answer the call to enter the competition.
“I’d been getting all these emails from people because the theme was Caribbean Life. The idea behind it was to show the world the Caribbean, and it was open to everybody in the region,” Marcille said. “They had women as a topic and that is a big part of my work. That really was my motivation. What was interesting for me was that you had to have taken the picture in the last two years, so it was quite a challenge to find the right pieces.”
It seems that Marcille did find the right pieces because she earned a bronze award for her photography, along with a cash prize for the photographs.
“I entered five pieces but I didn’t enter all the categories, though. I kept focusing mainly on the women part,” she said candidly. “For me my focus was sharing Barbados with the world. I usually do NIFCA but otherwise I’m not big on competitions. It’s not something I normally do. When I shoot pictures, I do it because it’s my passion and I love it.
“So I was shocked that I would even win anything, and when it happened I was surprised. I put them in and I felt that I had expressed myself artistically and two pieces out of the five earned prizes. It sounds funny to say that but even though it was a competition, I just wanted to share with the world who we are as Caribbean women. It was so humbling.”
The prize-winning photographs were Morning Tea, showing the strength of our Caribbean women, and Violin Lessons, showing a focused, talented young woman guiding some of Barbados’ future musicians who perform in our Barbados Youth Orchestra.
“I’ve spent a lot of time, especially in my spiritual journey, celebrating women,” Marcille added. “That has been a focus for me. I’ve been in Barbados 20 years and I look at our women and see such strong, positive, dynamic brilliant women. I just want to show the world who we are.”
Marcille has had a love for photography since she was a little girl.
“I’ve been doing photography all my life. When I was ten, my father gave me my first camera,” she said. “But I’ve learned that my father, who is Barbadian, had a passion for photography, so I feel that I’ve taken on his passion.”
Not only has she taken on his passion but she has charted her own course through her love of photography.
“In doing it, I feel like I’m making a contribution to the self-esteem of our women,” she said. “When I look at photography historically I hardly see women and all the contributions we’ve made visually. I want to be part of that history for the future, for my children and grandchildren.”