In order of personal favrouites
In October of last year, me and a dozen school friends embarked to Sierra Leone for 10 days, with the purpose of teaching music/core curriculum in schools. This was the biggest learning experience I had ever undertaken in my photography career. Learning how to take photojournalistic styled shots with no prior knowledge or research. I learned that building a relationship with your subjects can be more beneficial than secretly photographing it.
This photo was taken outside of JTR school in Freetown, while straying off campus I stumbled across three children sitting down on a stone bench. The older girl was clearly in charge and was giving orders left right and center. The youngest girl (3) of the family seemed inquisitive and playful taking interest to me and my camera, vise versa. On the other hand, the boy (2) seemed grumpy and shy and clearly wasn't fond of me. My first attempt to talk to them was unsuccessful and resulted in the young girl attempting to take a photo of her brother. During the shortly followed awkward silence, I asked the elder girl if these were her siblings she replied with a solid answer of "these are my children". This girl was 13 years old, I then asked if I could take her photo as I felt I needed to share this interaction. I did so and also took a few pictures of all the family.
And Abu Bakr
Freetown is the Capital of Sierra Leone and is home to around 1 million inhabitants with a population density of around 1,500 people per square km. Due to Freetown's landscape, almost everyone is forced to live in small houses shared with around 5-10 people. This house particularly homed 12 people. LACS villa was our accommodation, inside the perimeter wall of the Villa lay a thick dense jungle. I and a friend despite being told not to decided to explore this and visit the outer wall.
Our journey started with a walk down a small path which lead to a dead end. While looking back we spotted an unusual sight, the hotel staff showers. We were blocked from returning due to a naked man showering by his hut (photo not really allowed to show) We had to go the other way, walking carefully through thick shrubbery and trees, we arrived at the wall. We turned left not wanting to stray too far away and walked for around two minutes, we stumbled across some wobbly wooden scaffolding around 6-foot high. With the only possible way upwards I clambered up on to the top. After a while of kit moving and small people climbing assistance we were both up. The view over Freetown was beautiful. We visited this spot a few times over the ten days and began to make friends with the locals over the wall, they used to call us "uncle James, uncle James" One time we were up here a man appeared from inside the compound. We thought were in trouble but this man was the chef from our villa and was on his break, he sat with us and we talked for around an hour, about politics, Sierra Leone history and more.
My collection of Images