While for some, electricity is a given, a complete afterthought, for others, electricity is a luxury. Solar Portraits addresses the latter, namely Myanmar’s extremely limited access to this crucial amenity. Out of an estimated 68,000 villages, only about 3,000 are connected to any power grid. That’s just 27% of the country’s population.

Solar energy is a viable and much-needed solution that has the potential to improve the lives of millions immediately. Small, inexpensive photovoltaic power (PV) systems can allow people to do more with their waking hours at no additional cost.

These portraits depict the lives of inhabitants of remote areas of Myanmar who, for the first time, have access to electricity through the power of solar energy.

Each subject was asked how having electricity has affected their life. Set up within their environment, these portraits visually express their answers. The scenes have all been lit only by solar powered light bulbs which are contributing to the improvement in these people’s standard of living.

—Ruben Salgado Escudero