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Portraits of Rural Children Dressed for Their Dream Job

By Tuan Tran on November 26th 2013

Dreaming Big

As children, we were constantly asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. Whether it was to be a fireman, a doctor, a professional athlete, or a singer, we dreamed big. Photographer Sofie Knijff has traveled the world for three years capturing those moments where children announce to the world what they dream to be when they grow up. Knijff dressed them up into what their future selves will look like in her series called Translations.


Policeman, India

Knijff was able to create focus on the children and their outfits in the portraits by maintaining a consistent dark background so that the sole focus of the image is the children. By doing so, she created a much more intimate feeling in each portrait that provides a sense of sincerity and hardship between the children and the future they want for themselves.

It is strange that none of the children are smiling although they have been given the opportunity to be taken out of the normal life and dressed up as their dream professions. The portraits capture these little dreamers from South Africa, India, Mali, Brazil, Iceland, and Greenland where each culture had a direct influence on what the children inspired to be.

If your interested in seeing Translations in person, it is currently on display at M.I.A Gallery in Seattle through December 14th, 2013.


Businessman, India



Engineer and Architect, India



Harry Potter, India



Goal Keeper, South Africa



Doctor, Mali



Hunter, Greenland



Actress, South Africa



Marabout, Mali



Singer, South Africa



Journalist, Mali


[Source: Feature Shoot]

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Tuan is a photographer with Lin and JIrsa Photography, a writer for SLR Lounge, and a freelance wedding and commercial photographer in Southern Cali.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. point and shoot master guy

    Wow, Sofie did a wonderful job of exploiting these children. This really gives her photography career a decent boost. Thank God she had the opportunity to travel the world and find impoverished people to play dress-up with. Probably saved a fortune in model fees since they aren’t US or Euro based. Heck, she probably didn’t even pay them nearly what she spends on a daily cup of espresso.

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