Strike a pose! Gambian Photography students learn portraiture with Jason Florio

Going back to Day 2 of Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language, it was all about the art of portraiture.

Aisha and Ya Ida

After direction from workshop photographer and tutor, Jason Florio, it was time for our Gambian students to get behind the camera.  And, they were very vocal and clear in directing their fellow photography students. Using Jason’s backdrop, dating back to the 1940’s – which he has used over many years in much of his portraiture work – here are just a few examples of what the students produced that day – we think they did really rather well.


Khadjiatou – AKA ‘African Woman’
We didn’t escape direction either! Photographer, Jason Florio, and workshop producer, Helen Jones-Florio
Muhammed, Kadji, Muhammed, Ay Ida, Omar, Catherine
Florence and Khadji
Muhammed 1, Muhummed 2 and Omar
Lucia and Muhammed

If you would like to see  Jason Florio at work,  with the Photos Tell Stories students, please check out our ‘Behind-the-Scenes‘ FB page.

We’ll be posting more soon about the rest of the above urban workshop, and our plans to take ‘Photos Tell Stories’ on the road  to more rural Gambian villages and towns.

To find out more about how we can bring ‘Photos Tell Stories ‘to you, please contact

Thanks for stopping by!

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

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Gambian photography students show off their ‘Photos Tell Stories’ Jekkah tote bags

Gambian photography students show off their 'Photos Tell Stories'  Jekkah tote bags

Image © Jason Florio – on location at Bakau fishing village, The Gambia, West Africa

BIG thanks to ‘Jekkah – African inspired clothing‘, The Gambia

Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language

Photographer/tutor: Jason Florio

Workshop Producer: Helen Jones-Florio

In partnership with the US Embassy, Banjul

What goes on within and outside of the frame: ‘Photos Tell Stories’, with the Gambian students and Jason Florio

Ya Ida image_0077
Aisha and Omar by Lucia Mendy – Photos Tell Stories photography workshop, The Gambia

Just a glimpse of the exciting work our Gambian ‘Photos Tell Stories‘ photography workshop students are producing…and this is only day two: portraiture

Fashionistas! Catherine, Kadjiatou (aka ‘African Woman’) and Lucia by Muhammed Sinera – Photos Tell Stories photography workshop, The Gambia
Ya Ida Drammeh by Florence – Photos Tell Stories photography workshop, The Gambia
Florio image_0106
Photos Tell Stories photography students, The Gambia – image © Jason Florio

Find out what ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘ is all about

Photographer/Tutor: Jason Florio

Workshop Producer: Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio, Photoville, NY, 2013. Image © Chris Bartlett

Documenting photographer, Jason Florio – ‘Photos Tell Stories’ photography workshop, The Gambia, West Africa

Day 2 – Jason Florio teaches the art of portrait photography © Helen Jones-Florio

We have just completed day two of ‘Photos Tell Stories,  teaching photography – a visual language. Our Gambian students have been sent home early with their Fujifilm digital cameras – their assignment is to shoot their interpretation of ‘home’; taking on board everything that Jason  has taught them so far over the last two days. When they return to the classroom tomorrow, we will review and edit their images with them.

Our students have style! Image © Helen Jones-Florio

Yesterday, we told the students that Jason would be teaching them about portrait photography today. So, we asked the students to wear something that they would like to be photographed in – to dress in way that they felt truly represents who they are. Friday being a big prayer day, here in a predominantly Muslim country, many Gambians wear very traditional outfits. What most of the girls turned up was their take on the traditional outfit – African prints with a Western twist. The style and colors were couldn’t have been better for the photographs that they took of each other!

I’ve been documenting Jason over the last couple of days – him working with the students – and, I’ve pulled together just a few of these images and made an album for our Photos Tells Stories Facebook page, which you can check out here.

We’ll be showcasing the work of our students over the coming days – we definitely have more than one or two budding photographers in the classroom.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

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 odysse‘ . Images © Jason Florio

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For more press, please visit our Press page

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