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Ethereal Portraits Highlight the Unique Beauty of a Girl With Albinism and Heterochromia

Amina Ependieva, Girl With Heterochromia Albinism and d

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 Ependieva, Girl With Heterochromia Albinism and dAmina Ependieva, Girl With Heterochromia Albinism and dAmina Ependieva, Girl With Heterochromia Albinism and dAmina Ependieva, Girl With Heterochromia Albinism and dAmina Ependieva, Girl With Heterochromia Albinism and dAmina Ependieva, Girl With Heterochromia Albinism and dPerson with HeterochromiaPerson with HeterochromiaAmina Arsakova: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Amina Arsakova.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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