Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota Faces: Our newest immigrant families March 20, 2015

Portrait #13: A boy with an unforgettably sweet face


Portrait 13, International Festival Faribault 2012, Somali boy


He represents the present and the future, the changing face of my Minnesota community, of many Minnesota communities. More and more, Somali and other immigrants are settling in our state, starting life anew.

I photographed this young boy at Faribault’s 2012 International Festival.

Oh, the sweetness of his face and those big dark eyes. I just wanted to hug him.

He possesses a soulful look beyond his young years, a depth that defies definition. I can’t pinpoint precisely what I see, but there’s something in this portrait that mesmerizes me.

Perhaps it is his childhood innocence. Trust. A certain softness. The hint of a smile. Hope.

What do you see in this boy’s face?


This is part of a series, Minnesota Faces, featured every Friday on Minnesota Prairie Roots.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “Minnesota Faces: Our newest immigrant families”

  1. hotlyspiced Says:

    I hope the immigrants from Somali are adapting well to life in Minnesota. I can’t imagine a greater contrast of culture and climate. You have captured the little guy well – I hope he is loving life in his new country xx

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    Awesome portrait. Excellent choice for B&W too.

  3. Jackie Says:

    I see, “thank you for taking notice of me” Indeed a sweet face, pure innocence.

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    Gentle uncertainty. That’s what strikes me. A very pensive young one!!!!

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    Questioning and contemplative at the same time. He is beautiful.

  6. Thread crazy Says:

    What a sweet looking boy; his face beams of innocence. Great picture.

  7. Sue Ready Says:

    Audrey, not only do you engage your reader with a charming pensive photo but your opening sentence is sparse, reflective and thought provoking.
    Thanks for sharing.

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