Looking back: Gambian photography students learn the art of portraiture with Jason Florio

I just had a conversation with one of my sisters, who told me that my young nephew is about to study photography at school, and that his first powerpoint was going to be about my co-instigator in all things photography (from our expeditionsphotography workshops), Jason Florio.  Looking back, for links on here that might be of interest to my nephew, took me to the ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language (P.T.S.s) workshop posts; all about when we held a number of photography workshops, around The Gambia, West Africa (thanks to a grant from the US Embassy, Banjul), with young Gambian students.

We are still so immensely honored to have had the opportunity to hold the workshops, and particularly proud of the level of work our young students produced – despite 99% of them having never even used a camera.

I just wanted to re-share this – especially for my nephew, Harry. Maybe one day, he’ll be the one teaching photography workshops somewhere in West Africa.

Enjoy!

Helen Jones-Florio

2014: ‘Photos Tell Stories‘ photography workshop #1: The Kombos region, The Republic of The Gambia, West Africa – students were chosen from various senior secondary schools in the region

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L-R: Aisha, Muhammed N, PTS’s producer, Helen Jones-Florio, Haryat, Ya Ida, MMuhammed S, Kadji, Omar, Lucia, Catherine, Florence © Jason Florio

The students spent most the first day in the classroom with Jason Florio,  P.T.S.’s photographer and tutor,  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. Lastly, how the students could share their world through photography.

We then went on to familiarize the students with the digital cameras (thank you to FujiFilm USA for their support):

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Image © Jason Florio

The students practice how to capture movement:

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Image © Helen Jones-Florio

Following is a selection of work from the  students – on the second day of the workshop – taken during their portraiture class:

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Image © Florence Ampong
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Image © Aisha P. Njie
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Image © Gerald Soweh
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Image © Muhanned Njie
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Image © Ya Ida Drammeh
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Image © Omar Dampha
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Image © Muhammed Njie
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Image © Muhammed Sinera
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Image © Kadjiatou Jawara
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Image © Catherine Mahoney
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Image © Jason Florio
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Image © Omar Dpampha
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Image © Gerald Soweh
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Image © Lucia Mendy
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Image © Ya Ida Drammeh
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Image © Aisha P.Njie
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Image © Gerald Soweh
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Image © Catherine Mahoney
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Image © Florence Ampong
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Image © Muhammed Sinera
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Image @ Kadjotou Jawara

The students with Jason Florio – image © P.T.S.’s workshop producer Helen Jones-Florio

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Image © Helen Jones-Florio

To check out our ‘behind-the-scenes‘ album, please visit the ‘Photos Tell Stories’ FB page – where you can see the students and Jason Florio at work, during all the photography workshops.

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‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Jason Florio with the Kombos photography workshop students

Next up, we’ll be sharing the students images from ‘HOME’.  After showing the students work from all 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 – their assignment was to go and photograph their interpretation of ‘HOME’ . The following day, they returned to the workshop with some very interesting and inspired images. More on that very soon…

Other posts you might be interested in: ‘Teaching the art of portrait photography

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Sonia Pierre -Executive Director of the human rights organization, the Movement for Dominico-Haitian Women (Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas, MUDHA) © Jason Florio

Thank you for stopping by

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

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

in Partnership with US GAMBIA WORK SHOP -300dpi_ FLAT

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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

Instagram – Floriotravels – West Africa and more…

Along with updates we post on here, we’ll be adding our travel photos to our new Instagram page: floriotravels  – featuring photos from Jason Florio and myself  whether they be work, play, or simply day-to-day life scenes that capture our imagination. Please feel free to ‘follow

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At the moment, we are having a short hiatus from West Africa – a few thousand miles north, in the UK, visiting family and friends – recharging our batteries, ready to head back down there in a few weeks time. However, we sorely miss strolls on the beach…

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image © Jason FlorioChinese fishing boat, Ghana Town beach, The Gambia, West Africa

 

Walking the dogs at dawn on deserted beaches…

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Image © Jason Florio – ‘White Tip’ Cape Point, The Gambia, West Africa

 

And, we particularly look forward to going back to work in the field…

whether it be ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘…

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Photography workshop students receive their Photos Tell Stories ‘Certificates of Attendance’ – Kembujeh village, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

 

Or on assignment…

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Image © Helen Jones-Florio – on assignment with Jason Florio for NGO Concern Universal in Casamance, Senegal

 

If you would like to receive the odd updates from us, then just add your email address to the box in the lefthand column.

More news coming soon.

The Florios – Helen & Jason

Photos Tell Stories – through the lens: Africa by Africans

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We arrived in The Gambia, West Africa, early December, 2013, by invitation from the US Embassy, Banjul, to teach a series of photography workshop – ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘. Our aim was to show young Gambian students, between the ages of 13-20 years old, how to see their ‘home‘ – the villages and towns which they live – through the eye of a camera. And, more importantly, to show us – as guests on their home turf – how they viewed their environment and how they wanted it to be portrayed.

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Jason Florio – photographer and workshop tutor – YMCA, Fajara, The Gambia, West Africa

After a morning in the classroom, where Jason took them through the history of photography – showing the work of renowned international photographers, past and present – and various techniques, we gave them the cameras and sent them out, to photograph. Most of the students had never used a camera, other than perhaps snapshots with their phones.

The workshops culminated in a very successful exhibition opening at Alliance Française, in May, in The Gambia – where around 200 people, including most of the students from all over Gambia, were in attendance, along with national media.

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Photos Tell Stories photography students with Jason Florio (center) and Helen Jones-Florio (right) at the exhibition opening night, Alliance Française, The Gambia, West Africa

If you are interested in hosting a Photos Tell Stories workshop – or have us present our previous work in West Africa (River Gambia Expedition; ‘A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush‘; ‘Makasutu – mecca in the forest‘), please check out ‘Book a Photography Workshop or Presentation with the Florios

The Florios – Helen & Jason

You may also like to check out ‘Students Work‘ and ‘Behind-the-Scenes‘.