I have been a photographer for over 37 years. And in that time I have traveled to many places around the world: Ghana; Ethiopia; Sénégal; Kenya; Mauritania; Morocco; Swaziland; Nigeria; Seychelles; and practically all of Western Europe. Photography in many countries is an act of social rebellion, with grave consequences for journalists and artsts alike.
The Global Partnership for Education was hosted at the newly built Centre International de Conférence Abdou Diouf King on February 2, 2018. Many heads of States and financial stakeholders were on hand to pledge millions of dollars in aid and service training for young people in need. Here, presidents Emmanuel Macron of France and Macky Sall of Senegal have a brief chat on the stage while awaiting the next presenters.
The King Badouin Foundation hired me for a field visit in Ethiopia in 2012. They were very pleased with the press they received and kept me on their roster. This image was made in Tambacounda, Sénégal 2017 in collaboration with the Collibri Foundation.
The United Way and the NFL Partnership have been doing public service announcements for decades. Here, volunteer players from the Denver Broncos and children from the local Boys and Girls Club of America promote health and fitness for a "Play 60" campaign.
A sample selection includes: The Ford Foundation; United Way Worldwide; UNICEF, Swaziland, Ethiopia, New York; St. Paul's Community Baptist Church; The Commonwealth Fund; The Carnegie Corporation; The UN General Assemply; The African Union, Addis Ababa; Océan Ogilvy; Young and Rubicam; Cactus Advertising; powerHouse Books; and European Pressphoto Agency.
I was based in Addis Ababa from 2011 to 2013. And there I photographed the World Economic Forum and the funeral of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. In 2012 Swedish journalists were released from prison after serving 14 months of an 11 year prison sentence for alleged terrorism. One Ethiopian told me there were more opposition politicians and journalists in jail than criminals.
I first met Mme MichaIëlle Jean, Secretary General of the Francophonie Organization, while photographing at the United Nations in New York. So I became her photographer whenever she visted Dakar and the neighboring cities. She once wore an eye mask at a school for the blind to learn what it felt like to lose one's sight. She is a staunch advocate for African youth and educational empowerment.
I am getting older. There's no way around it. And I find myself looking at elderly people with a curious eye; imagining what they have seen, experienced, lived through. Our skin is a road map our our journeys.
The world is getting smaller and smaller. Travel has become more and more accessible. You would have to go pretty far off the grid to really find remotes cultures that have never met Americans or Europeans. But if ever you do find such a place, I am most likely already there filming from the shadows.
India is not only a very photogenic country, its citizens are also very media saavy. They have their own film industry to rival Hollywood, IT colleges to compete with Microsoft, and high-speed data centers in the most remote regions of the country. The old have truly embraced the new.
My philosophy is very simple: excellence is not the result of happy accidents. You are not a photographer because you hold a camera any more than I am a doctor because I can read a thermometer. Thirty-seven years behind the lens have taught me that professionalism means never having to apologize for not knowing my job. I believe in the School of Visual Arts' manta - to be good is not enough when you dream of being great.