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Erika Larsen July 31, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Destiny and Daisy from the series; ‘People of the Horse’. Pendelton, Oregon 2012

Erika Larsen’s (b.1976 USA) work uses photography, video and writing to learn
 intimately about cultures that maintain strong connections with nature. She has been working as a magazine photographer since 2000 specializing in 
human-interest stories and sensitive cultural issues. Her work has been included in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery,
 National Geographic Society, The Swedish Museum of Ethnography and Ajtte Sámi Museum. Erika’s first monograph, Sami-Walking With Reindeer, was released in 2013. Her work is represented by Redux Pictures. Erika is a recipient of several grants including a Fulbright Fellowship, New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship, Women in Photography Individual Project Grant, Lois Roth Endowment and a World Press Award.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture as part of the series People of the Horse to illuminate the unique bond between the horse and Native American culture. Destiny is of the Wampum tribe and is depicted here with Daisy. I met Destiny and her brother Nakia for the first time in Pendleton, Oregon where she was taking part in the yearly Indian princess competition.  Even though the horse was first embraced for war, hunting and transport in time they became partners in pageantry and a way to show tribal pride. This tradition of pageantry is still very strong today. A year after I met Destiny I made arrangements to photograph her alone, away from the pageant. The first attempt was in the early evening and she and the horse were both dressed beautifully. But when we began to shoot, something spooked Daisy and in seconds Destiny was thrown in the mud and water and Daisy was also soaked. I was so impressed with her resolve as she rose from the mud, mounted and steadied the horse. However, I asked if we could arrange to shoot again the following day after the regalia had been cleaned.  In the early morning this image appeared.

 

Annika Haas July 28, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Slantsy, Russia 2014

Annika Haas (b. 1974, Estonia) started to take photos when she was 13 years old. She studied at University of Tartu specialized in Finno-Ugric languages and also studied photojournalism at Tartu Art College. Annika also attended courses at the Photo Opportunity Studios (2003) and courses in Documentary Photography at the foto8 gallery in London (2012). She is a member of the board the Estonian Association of Press Photographers. Her work has been published in: The Washington Post, Lens Culture Magazine, Freundin and Aamulehti. This year she won a Grand Prize in Estonian Press Photo contest.

About the Photograph:

“As a resident of a state occupied by the former Soviet empire, I found that after closure of our eastern border, a trip from Estonia to Russia seems like time-travel. While standing on the shore of Lake Peipus that separates Europe from Russia, you begin to think about the life on the other shore. After several years, I had the opportunity to visit Russia. In Slantsy – a Russian border zone city, where you need a special permit to stay there – I found a bridal gown hanging on the clothesline in a backyard of dismal barrack housing. It seemed so inappropriate in this lonesome and deserted quarter, the contrast between the shabby surroundings and the glamor of the garment. It’s a reflection of social and public clashes so characteristic of Russia – deep poverty on the one hand, and  the yearning for the West, so forbidden, yet so sweet found in the deepest corners of the Russian soul.”

Tom Leininger July 24, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Story Time in my son Alex’s room. Denton, Texas 2012

Tom Leininger (b.1971, United States) knew he wanted to work in newspapers the first time he shadowed a photographer to a high school football game. After graduating from the University of Kansas’ William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, he moved to Indiana where he worked for 11 years as a daily newspaper photographer. Tom holds an MFA from the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design. His photographs have been exhibited at the Photographic Center Northwest, McNeese State University, Texas Woman’s University, Rayko Photo Center and projected at the Annenberg Space for Photography among other venues. Currently, Tom is exploring the intersecting ideas of family and suburban life. He is also an adjunct instructor and photography lab manager at the University of North Texas as well as photography book reviewer for Photo-eye.

About the Photograph:

“I have been documenting the lives of my children from the moment of their births. In a way, they gave the joy of photography back to me. This was the initial spark that carried me into graduate school. When I started school, I was spending more time with the kids because of my schedule. This lead me to document their daily lives, as I would have as a journalist. As the children grow, the project changes. This project has changed as they grow and our lives change. Here is a moment I found after coming home from teaching a night class and found my wife Katrena reading to Sofia and Alex. I am interested in finding pictures that present aspects of life that are real and meaningful.”

Nick Hannes July 21, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in France.
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French Mediterranean coast
Saint Tropez, France, 2013

Nick Hannes (b. 1974, Belgium) studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent. After ten years of working as a photojournalist, he decided to concentrate on self-initiated documentary projects on social and political issues. He published two books: Red Journey’, a documentary about the former Soviet Union, and Traditions, a book on party culture in Belgium. His third book The Continuity of Man, will be launched at the end of 2014 at the Museum of Photography in Antwerp. Nick teaches documentary photography at The School of Arts in Ghent. He has exhibited in Foto Museum (Antwerp), Bozar Centre for Fine Arts (Brussels), Flanders Center (Osaka), Breda Photo (Breda) amongst others. He is represented by Cosmos Paris.

About the Photograph:

“A Senegalese migrant is selling sun hats to two Italian twin sisters on the fancy beach of Pampelonne in Saint-Tropez, southern-France. Travelling the Mediterranean coasts I encountered these African street hawkers all over. They go where the tourists go. When it rains, they sell umbrellas and plastic ponchos, when it’s hot, they carry sunglasses and hats along. Its a matter of survival to them. This photograph is part of my series The Continuity of Man, a visual portrait of the Mediterranean region. From early 2010 untill now I have been travelling the Mediteranean coast in twenty countries in Europe, the Middle East and North-Africa. I focused on various contemporary issues such as migration, mass tourism, urbanization and its impact on the natural landscape. I found out that these topics are often linked to each other, as this picture proves.”

“The Mediterranean region regularly hits the headlines. The eurocrisis in Greece, the Arab spring, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, the unverifiable influx of immigrants in Europe, are some other tendencies that determines the region’s zeitgeist. Although The Continuity of Man is not intended to be a journalistic body of work, traces of these evolutions emerge throughout the documentary. In the end this series aims to give a well balanced kaleidoscopic view upon this extremely diverse region, and to put things in perspective. Monaco and Gaza are both situated on the Mediterranean shore. The book‘ will be launched in November 2014, with an exhibition at the Museum of Photography in Antwerp, Belgium.”

Charles Mostoller July 17, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Venezuela.
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Demonstration celebrating the Ninth anniversary of Chavez’s return to power. Caracas,  2011.

Charles Mostoller  (b. 1986, USA) is a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York, and attended the 25th Eddie Adams Workshop in 2012. His work has been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, Mother Jones, MSNBC and The Guardian, Charles is a contributor to Reuters, and has worked with ZUMA Press and SIPA Presss in the past. He is currently working on a book of his work from Venezuela.

About the Photograph:

“In the spring of 2011, I traveled to Venezuela for the first time to explore the political situation, not knowing at the time that I would be covering some of President Hugo Chavez’ last public appearances before undergoing treatment for cancer in Cuba. This photograph was taken on the ninth anniversary of the failed 2002 coup attempt against Chavez. Tens of thousands of people, including thousands of citizen militiamen and women, flocked to the capital Caracas to celebrate the Chavista movement, known as the Bolivarian Revolution. The framed portrait depicts Simon Bolivar, considered the Liberator for his role in South American independence movements in the early 1800’s and the intellectual cornerstone of Hugo Chavez’s socialist regime.”

Paolo Marchetti July 14, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Italy.
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Skinhead gathering in the Lazio region of Italy. 2010.

Paolo Marchetti (b. 1974, Italy) began his photographic studies with particular attention to anthropology issues. His work has been published in magazines such as TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, De Spiegel, Geo, 6Mois and others. Paolo’s photographs have been recognized from Photo District News, The National Press Photographer’s Association and Leica. In 2013 he won the ANI Pix-Palace Award in Perpignan. He is based in Rome.

About the Photograph:

“Young Italian skinheads during an Hawaiian party on the coast of Lazio. Each year, the Italian skins come together on the Italian coast (in the region of Lazio) and celebrate the beginning of summer, wearing Hawaiian style clothes. The rules are simple, there are three. No one can speak about the Hawaiian party before participating, everyone must wear Hawaiians and the last rule is that no one should talk about it after attending. The event lasted twenty-four hours from lunch on a Saturday until the following day with plenty of live music. There were skins from England, Spain and Hungary- a strong network exists between European skinheads, a bond of brotherhood but the Hawaian party theme is an Italian tradition.”

Maria Plotnikova July 10, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Christmas in Sao Paulo, Brazil 2013

Maria Plotnikova (b. 1984, Russia) studied Philology at the Moscow State Pedagogical University. In 2006 until 2010 she worked as a sports photographer in Moscow for Izvestia, Novaya Gazeta and TASS. In 2010 she moved to Buenos Aires and later to Sao Paulo. In Latin America, she became interested in street photography. Since 2012 she has been a member of the international collective Street Photographers. Maria’s work has been exhibited in Argentina (Festival of Light, 2012), United States (The Fence Festival, 2013), Georgia (Tbilisi Photo Festival, 2013), Lithuania (Vilnius Photo Circle Festival, 2013) and Russia (Photovisa Festival, 2013-14).

About the Photograph:

“I love the Christmas season. Beings from Russia, for me winter is as integral a part as the ocean and the heat are for Brazilians. The last few years my husband and I have lived in South America and the one thing to which I can´t get accustomed to is the opposite order of the seasons. Christmas and New Year’s are linked with snow and cold for me. When Christmas holidays are approaching in South America, I’m waiting with nostalgia. I like how people prepare for Christmas in Brazil. Despite the fact that snow doesn’t exist here, every shopping mall is decorated with Santa Claus and all the trappings of a winter holiday: boots, hats, reindeers and Christmas trees. Once in Sao Paulo I passed a shopping mall and a huge Santa Claus drew my attention. People were dressed in summer clothes and Santa, this solitary guest from the defunct Brazilian winter looked very absurd. I think this situation alludes to an eternal contradiction of human existence, expressed in a proverb that the glass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

Laura Morton July 7, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Debutante Ball in San Francisco, 2009

Laura Morton (b. 1984, USA) grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and began to pursue a career in photojournalism during her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated in 2006 with a degree in Political Science and Journalism. Her personal work currently focuses on wealth and the way it affects those who have it. She has received a 2014 Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grant and is a winner of the 2013 Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photographers exchange. Her series The Social Stage was awarded in the 2012 PDN Photo Annual and was a winner of the 2013 Hearst 8X10 Photography Biennial. She is based in San Francisco where she is contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal and Getty Global Assignment.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken at a debutante ball in San Francisco. I wanted to explore coming-of-age rituals for women and was particularly drawn to debutante balls because of the deep-rooted history of these events. Historically their purpose was to introduce young women to society so that they could find suitable husbands. Today most of the events are focused on giving girls the confidence, connections and social skills to help them succeed in college and later on in their careers. It’s surprising to think about how the opportunities available to women in this country have changed in the last decades. I wanted to explore who these girls were and why they chose to participate in what is often described as an antiquated ritual. This photograph was taken just before the ball. You can see the debutantes and their escorts relaxing after long hours spent preparing for the festivities. I loved this scene because everyone seemed to be engrossed in their own thoughts. As a photographer, I’m particularly drawn to different layers and my favorite photos are often ones you have to study and linger on for a moment. When the employee from the hotel started setting up the chairs in the background, unnoticed by the debutantes and their escorts, I knew I’d gotten the shot I wanted.”

Bryan Schutmaat June 19, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Ellie, Wyoming 2010

Editor’s Note: I will be taking off for a two week summer break and leave you with Bryan’s photograph and backstory to reflect on. Happy solstice. New postings will continue on July 7th. ~ Geoffrey Hiller

Bryan Schutmaat (b. 1983) is an American photographer whose work has been widely exhibited and published in the United States and overseas. He has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Aperture Portfolio Prize, Center’s 2013 Galllerist’s Choice Awards, the 2013 Daylight Photo Awards, and the 2011 Carl Crow Memorial Fellowship, among many others. In 2014 Bryan was selected for PDN’s 30 new photographers to watch; in 2013, Dazed Magazine named Bryan one of Paris Photo’s “breakout stars,” and he was chosen as a Flash Forward Emerging Photographer by the Magenta Foundation. His first monograph, Grays the Mountain Sends, was published by the Silas Finch Foundation in 2013 to international critical acclaim. His photos can be found in the permanent collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and numerous private collections. He lives in Austin, Texas and is represented by Sasha Wolf Gallery in New York City.

About the Photograph:

“The process for this photo was entirely different than all the other portraits in Grays the Mountain Sends, and, in a way, I don’t consider it part of the project. In the book, it comes after the colophon – a sort of coda that comes just before the book is closed. ‘Ellie’ is photo I very much had in my mind before I made it – an homage to both Eggleston and the poet Richard Hugo. I’ve talked a lot about Richard Hugo as an influence, especially his poem, Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg. It’s a somewhat bitter, hopeless poem, but the final few lines are uplifting: The car that brought you here still runs. / The money you buy lunch with, / no matter where it’s mined, is silver / and the girl who serves you food is slender and her red hair lights the wall. So my photo of the red haired girl is borrowed entirely from that last line, and she’s a ray of hope at the end of an otherwise pretty sad series. Like I said, I definitely had this photo in mind. I searched all over the American West for my red-haired waitress, or any waitress who had an illuminative presence.”

“There was a young waitress I found in Wyoming who was wonderful– the way she talked to the guys who came in, laughing and teasing with them. She made their days better. She was beautiful too. I made her portrait, but the picture I took didn’t evoke the right feeling. It was too direct, and she became a protagonist alongside the men, rather than the embodiment of this fleeting enchantment I felt when I imagined Hugo’s redhead. It would be better to have my photo distilled to the symbolic red hair, and I wanted her anonymous – not a portrait of her but what she resembled. I didn’t want her fulfilling happiness, but rather just giving a small taste of it so that the men’s struggle within the narrative would still remain when the book has ended.”

“At any rate, the picture I ended up making that worked was not a real waitress (a fact I try not to broadcast), though she was a stranger to me. I her met her in a bar in the early evening. It was a weekday, and she was alone in the outdoor portion of the bar, reading a book. Of course I was drawn immediately to her hair. We had a short, awkward conversation, and I explained to her that I would love to take her picture. We exchanged numbers and met up some days later at a nearby diner I had scouted out beforehand. The owner let us come in after hours and we borrowed his apron and notepad. This setup was strange to me at the time, because all the other portraits in the series were taken in a relatively rigid documentary vein. In no other instance did I photograph people in places other than where I encounter them (unless if I was invited into their homes, which are always excellent places to make portraits). This photo, however, was so refreshing to make, because I freed myself and imposed my will entirely, and I think it was an instrumental experience to my process moving forward.”

Ismail Ferdous June 16, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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Rana Plaza garment factory aftermath, Dhaka, Bangladesh 2013

Ismail Ferdous (b.1989, Bangladesh) graduated with a degree in business from East West University in Dhaka. He was selected for the Award of Excellence with the Alexia Foundation/ student category in 2012 and attended the Eddie Adams Photojournalism Workshop in 2013. His photographs have been published in: The New Yorker Magazine, National Geographic- Germany, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine Lightbox, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today among others. Recent group exhibitions of his work include: 25 CPW Gallery in New York, The World Bank, Washington DC, and UNICEF in Rio de Janerio. Ismail is currently freelancing for the Associated Press based in Dhaka.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture 20 days after the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar, a suburb of Dhaka. I had been covering the event and aftermath for nearly three weeks, but it was a very unusual moment for me when I saw tears rolling down the cheeks of a Bangladeshi army soldier while praying for the 1,134 people who died in the garment building collapse. I had seen thousands of people crying around me over the past weeks but in that moment nobody could hold in their emotion and pain, for this was the last day (14 May 2013) of the painstaking search for bodies among the rubble in the worst tragedy in the history of the global garment industry.”

“Photographing the Rana Plaza collapse was the most traumatic event I have ever experienced. Smelling dead bodies every morning felt like being in a war zone. It haunts me to this day. I covered the rescue mission for 15 hours a day. A few months after the collapse when I went through my images it gave me an emotional breakdown. It took me awhile to process but eventually I channeled my trauma to the strength of this issue and I wanted to make the public aware of this global issue with my Cost of Fashion project.”


 

Andy Freeberg June 12, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Spinello, Pulse New York Art Fair, 2010

Andy Freeberg (b.1958 New York, NY) graduated from the University of Michigan. He began his photography career in New York taking portraits for such publications as Rolling Stone, Time, and Fortune, photographing the likes of Michael Jackson, Bill Gates, and Neil Young. Andy has recently emerged on the contemporary art scene as a wry commentator on the art industry itself. His series Guardians, won the Critical Mass book award and was published in 2010. He is represented by the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles and the Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York. His work is in many collections including SFMOMA, MFA Boston, and the George Eastman House. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

About the Photograph:

This photograph was taken at the Pulse New York art fair in 2010. It’s from a project on the big art fairs and the pictures focus on the dealers and gallery workers in their booths. The guy on the left is the Miami gallery owner Anthony Spinello and he’s sitting with the artist Zachari Logan. I was walking through the fair and went into Spinello’s booth and noticed the larger than life size nude paintings. When I came back 20 minutes later, there they were sitting and talking at the desk. Their positioning was quite a gift. I took a few frames and moved on, they didn’t notice me. The pictures were taken between 2009-2011 at the big contemporary art fairs in Miami and Basel, Switzerland and also in New York during the Armory Show. Most of the photographs in the series are completely candid. I was trying to document the scene, the styles the market, the current technology of this crazy art world. The series was recently released as a book titled, Art Fare by Sojourn Books.”

Peter de Krom June 9, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Netherlands.
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Prince Jocus Carnival in Venlo, The Netherlands 2014

Peter de Krom (b. 1981, The Netherlands) graduated from the St. Joost art school in 2010. He moved back to Hoek van Holland, a small town trapped between the North Sea, the Westland greenhouse area and the channel to the Rotterdam harbors. Here Peter decided not to find happiness, but subjects and inspiration that cannot be found where most photographers look. His work has been published in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, NRC Handelsblad, Volkskrant Magazine, de Standaard. Peter’s photographs have been shown at Summerexpo, GEM, The Hague, 2013, ICN Gallery, London (ISPA Awards), 2013 and Gallery LHGWR, The Hague, 2012.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photo on assignment for the newspaper NRC Next. I was invited to join the Prince Jocus Carnival for one day during his tour through the city of Venlo. Every year we celebrate Carnival in the lower provinces of the Netherlands. In the province of Limburg they call it Vastelaovend. Every city has it’s own prince that is in charge of the celebrations. In this case it was a young fellow who was accompanied by his council of eleven and protected by his own guardsman. They started the festivities of the day here going from stage to stage through the city where around 30,000 people were assembled to party the entire week. Everyone was dressed up in their most colorful and crazy outfits. The Prince will also set a example and got pretty drunk at the end of each day. His guardsman will led him all the way. “

Jenny Riffle June 5, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Washington State 2011

Jenny Riffle (b. 1979, United States) received her MFA in Photo, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in 2011 and her BA in photography from Bard College in 2001. Jenny received the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship grant in 2013 and the juror’s award at Newspace Center for Photography’s 2012 juried show for her project Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting. Her work was has been shown at Newspace and will travel to RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco and The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins in 2014. She is currently living in Seattle where she teaches at the Photo Center Northwest .

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of a series called The Sound of Wind, a re-appreciation of the northwest through my memories of it and my present experiences. It was shot on Thanksgiving day 2011 when my boyfriend and I were driving from Seattle to his mother’s house on the Olympic Peninsula with our friend in the backseat. Right before we got to Tacoma the car broke down. It was cold and wet outside, so we sat inside the car waiting for the tow truck to come get us.”

“I spent a lot of time in cars when I was a child because my parents split up and lived in different towns that were three hours apart. Time in the car was always a time to switch from one life to another, from mom’s house to dad’s, a time to think, to stare out the window and watch the world go by. After growing up and leaving the Northwest to live elsewhere, I found that once I moved back I appreciated the Northwest with new eyes. All these memories of childhood surfaced and I wanted to drive through the Cascade Mountain Range and run around in the forests of my youth.”

“Photography has the ability to play with memory, and in this case, this photo is of the experience that I went through with my friends waiting for the tow truck, but it also captures the experience of my childhood self riding around in the back seat of the car. In all of my portraits, I like to create a narrative. Not necessarily a specific narrative relevant to the moment captured, instead I like to capture an introspective moment or feeling that invites the viewer into the image, bringing their own memories and experiences to it.”

Nancy Borowick June 2, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ghana.
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A water well at the Triumph International School. Mowire Ghana, 2010.

Nancy Borowick (b. 1985, United States) is a humanitarian photographer based in New York City. She is a graduate of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography and holds a degree in Anthropology from Union College. Nancy is a regular contributor to Newsday, amNY, and Corbis and her work has also been featured in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Lens Blog, CNN, Time.com, Photo District News and the Washington Post. She was recently named one of the 2013 Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographers.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photograph in the village of Mowire, about 230 miles north of Ghana’s capital, Accra. I had been living in this village and teaching at the local school during the spring of 2008 and before leaving, I asked the headmasters if there was something I could give back to the school and its students, as my experience there was truly life changing. A water well was their answer. I spent many mornings waking up before dawn and trekking to the nearby well alongside my students to collect water for the school and I watched as these kids took this journey over and over again, straining their young bodies before a very long day of class and chores.”

“I was determined to give them this gift, this luxury of clean water, and after returning home to New York City I spent the next two years raising funds for the project. After two failed drilling attempts, break downs in communication and many broken hearts, the third time was the charm. We finally hit water. It was clear, clean and safe to drink and many children could be seen filling up empty water bottles to bring home to their families. I shot this image after the official ceremonial unveiling of the well and as I snapped the image of the flowing water, the children flew into the frame, drinking as much of this delicious, safe water as they could during this sweltering afternoon. Access to safe drinking water is a gift that many take for granted and being able to share this with my students and the surrounding community was a truly humbling and rewarding experience.”

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