Day 2: and late night edits for Jason Florio, of the Gambian ‘Photos Tell Stories’ students images

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Jason edits the students work from the 1st day of the workshop © Helen Jones-Florio

Late night edits for Mr Florio. We are seeing some fine work from our Gambian students on their first day of Photos Tell Stories. These kids are catching on fast – taking on board what Jason explained to them about composition and technique, before we handed over the cameras to them yesterday.

Muhammed checks out his fellow students work – the first student to arrive for day 2 © Helen Jones-Florio

Today Jason will be teaching the art of portrait photography – with each student photographing each other. Tonight, Jason and I will no doubt have another late night of uploading and looking at the students images produced today, so that we can cover editing with them in tomorrows class.

If yesterdays work, from the students, is anything to go by, we look forward to another late night!

More updates soon…

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

Photographer/Tutor: Jason Florio

Workshop Producer: Helen Jones-Florio



Photos Tell Stories – Class of 2014, The Gambia, West Africa

Photos Tell Stories – Class of 2014, The Gambia, West Africa (with Helen Jones-Florio) © Jason Florio

Our first day with the Gambian students for the inaugural ‘Photos Tell Stories. Teaching photography – a visual language‘ gave us a good insight into how each of them use the camera – how they see things.

Photos Tell Stories – Class of 2014, The Gambia (with Jason Florio) © Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio started with a brief history of photography by showing the students various photographers work, throughout the decades. He covered studio and environmental portraiture, landscape, and the power of telling stories through reportage and documentary photography; along with  exploring photographic techniques with the students.

The students learn how to capture movement © Jason Florio

Jason also included work from our contributing professional photographers – many of whom graciously provided us with images that represent ‘home‘. As an assignment, we will be sending the students home with their cameras tomorrow to produce work that represents ‘home‘ to them. It will be interesting to see what they come back with.

Setting up – the theory – Jason Florio © Helen Jones-Florio
The students get to introduce themselves © Helen Jones-Florio
Portraiture © Helen Jones-Florio (screen images © Jason Florio ‘Silafando’)
Thanks for the photography books, powerHouse, NY – also on the table, including: Raphael Fuchs; Virginia Quarterly Review; Trunk Magazine; Geographical Magazine
Jason shoots with the students © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason demonstrates to the students on how to capture movement © Helen Jones-Florio
Capturing movement © Helen Jones-Florio

We both really enjoyed our first day with the students – they were curious, engaged, and eager to learn – and, looking at the work they have produced so far, there are definitely one or two who appear to have a natural talent with the camera. More on that soon…

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at portraiture photography, in a formal setting, with the students taking portraits of each other. So, please check back again to see how they get on.

Thanks for stopping by.

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

Check out more of Jason’s photography at

You may also ‘like‘ our Photos Tell Stories FB page or ‘follow‘ us on Twitter

Photos Tell Stories thanks the US Embassy Banjul, The Gambia, for their support. Other partners and contributors here


Big thanks to our contributing photographers: Manjari Sharma; Amber Terranova; Amy Toensing; Sari Goodfriend; Ryan Heffernan; Ben Lowy; Stefan Falke; Oskar Landi; Thomas Donley; Brandon Remler; Wayne Lawrence;   Chris Bartlett; Robert Goldstein; Henry Jacobson; Heloise Bergman


Omar’s Peace Corps Kitchen, The Gambia – feeding ‘Photos Tell Stories’ photography students

Omars Kitchen
Omar’s Peace Corp Kitchen, at traffic lights (opposite GALP garage), The Gambia – Image © Jason Florio

Venue sorted – the YMCA, Gambia – and now thanks for the heads-up from Peace Corps volunteer, Justin Jewett, about ‘Omar’s Peace Corp Kitchen‘, we have a cook for our Gambian students, during their Photos Tell Stories photography workshop. We’re looking forward to Omar’s chicken yassa for lunch tomorrow – we’ve heard only great things about his cooking!

And, we are now wifi connected, with thanks to QCell, Gambia, for  the E303 USB Stick and Huawei AF23 Sharing Router

Image © Helen Jones-Florio

We’ll be able to update during the workshop, thanks to QCell’s partnership.

More on that once we get started tomorrow morning.

Stay with us!

The Florios

Workshop Photographer: Jason Florio

Workshop Producer: Helen Jones-Florio

Recent press – via SLATE mag – HuffPost Arts & Culture features our ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘ . Images © Jason Florio

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PRESS – see more here

The location for the 1st ‘Photos Tell Stories’ photography workshop, The Gambia, West Africa

Image © Helen Jones-Florio

We visited the local YMCA today – which will be the location for our inaugural ‘Photos Tell Stories : teaching photography – a visual language‘ – at least for the theory part of the course; as we will also be taking our young Gambian students out and about, with their FujiFilm cameras, to photograph whats around them.

We are really looking forward to seeing what the students will produce – once we get started with the main group on the 2nd January, 2014. Albeit a little behind schedule – a combination of ‘GMT’ (Gambia Meantime) and the holiday season.  The pace is significantly more laid back here, compared to what we are used to in New York or London.  And, although that can have it’s frustrations, it’s also one of the main reasons we keep getting drawn back to this part of the world.  Each time,  in the first few weeks of arriving – still in our metropolis-living mode  of rushing around – it takes time to adjust, before we realize that we’ve spent half our working day hurrying up to wait! Like I said, GMT… thankfully, it’s kicking in, slowly but surely.  As it always does.

More updates coming very soon.

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

Photographer and Workshop Producer – ‘Photos Tell Stories

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