Photography workshops, The Gambia, with Jason Florio

Photography Workshops, The Gambia: Student portrait workshop - Kombos, The Gambia, West Africa, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio
Photography Workshops, The Gambia: Student portrait workshop – The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio

We had a very timely reminder on FB this morning, about our last photography workshop, in The Gambia, January 2014. Timely, because this time next week we will be holding our next workshop, in-country.

Student portrait photography workshop - The Gambia, West Africa. Image © Ya Ida Drammeh. With Jason Florio
Photography Workshops, The Gambia: Image by workshop student, Ya Ida Drammeh

Photography Workshops, The Gambia

January 2014, Photography Workshop, The Gambia: The students spent most the first day in the classroom with their tutor, photographer and filmmaker, Jason Florio, where he covered the following topics: a brief history of photography; what is a photograph; portraiture; environmental portraiture; reportage; landscape photography (including showing the students images from all of our contributing photographers); guides and techniques; what makes a good photograph; rules of photography (rule of thirds, leading lines, etc.); lighting; editing…

Student portrait workshop - Kombos, The Gambia, West Africa. Image by  Aisha P.Njie. With Jason Florio
Photography Workshops, The Gambia: Image by Aisha P.Njie

The resulting work, by the young students, culminated in an exhibition at Alliance Francaise, in The Gambia

The Gambia - Opening night of Photos Tell Stories exhibition - the photography students with Jason Florio and  Helen Jones-Florio
Photography Workshops, The Gambia: Opening night of Photos Tell Stories exhibition – the photography students with workshop tutors, Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio


Photography Workshops, The Gambia - Image © Malang Jarju, Kartong, The Gambia
Photography Workshops, Kartong, The Gambia – image by Malang Jarju

Each evening, at the end of the workshop, in each region that we taught, the students’ work was exhibited in the village.

Exhibiting photography students work on a big screen, The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio
Exhibiting the photography students work on a large screen, at night, The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio


January 2020 Photography Workshops – Keep an eye out for updates from our next workshop – this time, with young Gambian journalists and their photographs of their Gambia.

Photographer & workshop tutors, Jason Florio & helen Jones-Florio, The Gambia
Teaching movement in photography – workshop tutors, Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio by student Gerald Soweh

To find out more about booking a Photos Tell Stories photography workshop, or presentation, check this out.

Assignment queries and image licensing – Contact here

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Multimedia: I am Amigoe Dieudonné – The Artist Painter

Click the above image or here to view the video Vimeo


We recently had the pleasure of working with the very talented Togolese artist, Amigoe Duiedonné. He had asked us to make a short multimedia bio for the opening of his current exhibition at Alliance Française, here in The Gambia, West Africa; which, coincidentally, is the same venue we exhibited ‘Photos Tell Stories – Images of The Gambia by Gambians

Image © Jason Florio


Vimeo: ‘Short video portrait shot in The Gambia, of Togolese painter Amigoe Dieudonne who has travelled for twelve years around West Africa in his wheelchair, stopping along the way to create extensive bodies of work, that he exhibits and sells to be able to continue his odyssey’ – Filmed & produced by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio
©Florio Studio

For more about our multimedia work, please check out Film & Radio




Gambian Photography workshop students – Friday slideshow

Looking back over some of the marvelous work that our young Gambian students produced, during their Photos Tell Stories Photography Workshops, earlier this year. After running through theory in the classroom, Jason then sent the students out into the field. They came back with some very impressive work – considering the majority of them had never used a camera before – which we exhibited, to a packed gallery, at Alliance Française, here in The Gambia, in May.

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This weekend we will be going back down to Kartong, near the border of Senegal, to carry on with our story about the turtle conservation project, which we started last weekend, where we released 20 turtles into the Atlantic Ocean – an wondrous experience. More on that soon…

Have a great weekend!

The Florios – Helen & Jason

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Jason & Helen at the Photos Tell Stories exhibition venue


Related posts: Jason Florio Teaches the Art of Portrait Photography  and Photos Tell Stories Students Work

West Africa – a sneak peek at personal photography and film projects: traditional masquerades and Togolese artists

After Jason and I finished our inaugural ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘ photography workshops, in Gambia, West Africa – the culmination of which was an exhibition of the young Gambian students work at Alliance Française – we began to look around for new photography projects in the region.

Both of us have always been fascinated by the traditional Gambian ‘masquerades’ – after having seen many over the years, throughout the country and in neighboring Senegal – dynamic, wonderfully mysterious, and sometimes down right dark and scary!

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Image © Jason Forio – the ‘Asamayo’ or ‘Agomalah’ for NGO Concern Universal – Forest festival, Koudioubé, in the Casamance, Senegal


Whether it be a circumcision ceremony, celebrating a successful harvest, chasing away evil spirits, enforcing village rules, or simply for entertainment, masquerades play a central and significant role in many parts of West African society.

Before we left The Gambia last month –  a short hiatus to spend time with family – we began to work on the masquerade project…

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Image © Jason Florio – ‘Little Devil’ a sneak peak at one of the masquerades, Kembujeh village, The Gambia, West Africa


We’re also working closely with the Gambia National Centre for  Arts and Culture – to produce a series of masquerade portraits for an exhibition in the near future. There is an abundance of masquerades – from the ‘Cumpo‘, ‘Kankurang‘, ‘The Hunter‘, ‘Agomalah’, to the stilted ‘Monpara‘. We look forward to exploring these more fully, when we return to West Africa in the coming months – delving deep into the origins and traditions of each one we meet; to create a photographic anthropology of the traditional masquerade


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Image © Jason Florio – Amigoe at home, surrounded by his paintings.


On the opening night of the Photos Tell Stories exhibition, we were very fortunate to be introduced to highly accomplished Togolese artist, Amigoe Dieudonné . During further meetings, Amigoe – an articulate, charismatic man – began to tell us the compelling story of his life, since leaving his Togolese home and family at 19 years old, living as a disabled artist, in various countries in West Africa. And, how his travels have shaped the very distinctive art he produces today.

We began to film and photograph Amigoe – again, shortly before we left The Gambia – who invited us into to his home and studio, to fully share with us the rich and vibrant tapestry of his life. We look forward to continuing this story too, when we return.

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Image © Jason Florio – Amigoe at work in his studio, The Gambia, West Africa


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We would like to extend our thoughts to all those, in West Africa, who have been affected by the recent Ebola crisis, and we pray that it does not spread further.

More news soon…

The Florios – Helen & Jason

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Helen & Jason – opening night of the Photos Tell Stories exhibition – Gambia TV & Radio (about 47 seconds in!) – click image to view footage