When Chechen photographer Amina Arsakova spotted a picture of 11-year-old Amina Ependieva in a shopping center, she was immediately intrigued by the young girl’s unique beauty. This is because Ependieva has two rare genetic conditions: albinism and heterochromia. The former is a condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment in the skin, eyes, and hair, while the latter is a difference in coloration of the iris. In Ependieva’s case, she has white-blonde hair and pale skin with one blue eye and one brown eye.
Arsakova wanted to do a photoshoot with Ependieva—but doing so proved challenging. She couldn’t directly contact Ependieva, but through some searching, she eventually got her mother’s phone number. They scheduled a portrait session after that. “Amina turned out to be a very nice and calm girl,” Arsakova tells My Modern Met. This is reflected in her portraiture. Arsakova directed Ependieva in tranquil interior scenes with the girl seated in a neutral space as well as close-up shots of her face that capture her alluring features and bashful personality.
While Arsakova got to know Ependieva through image-making, there is still more she’d like to find out about her. “Unfortunately, it was not at all possible to find out details about the features of her appearance,” she says. “I hope that in the near future it will be possible to arrange a new photoshoot with Amina and chat in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Photographer Amina Arsakova captured stunning portraits of 11-year-old Amina Ependieva, a girl with both albinism and heterochromia.
Amina Arsakova: Instagram