There is so much to see and capture on a trip that it is crucial to have a clear brief and an understanding of what the client wants to achieve through their story gathering. But sometimes you just have to use your experience and gut instinct to seize the moment when the right opportunity arises.
This happened to me a couple of years back when I was photographing and blogging from Ethiopia for Send a Cow. We’d headed out to a rural community where my brief was to capture stories about the increase in farmers’ yields and improved farming techniques. While there I heard about 80-year-old Mezgebe Ashengo.
Mezgebe told me that due to lack of food, her eyesight had once been so poor that she had barely been able to recognise her family. She had felt like a burden to those she loved. One day the Send a Cow team had visited and provided advice and guidance on nutrition and advice on growing vegetables. As a result of her improved diet Mezgebe’s vision had been restored she told me that the highlight was being able to see her grandchildren for the first time.
As a former fundraiser I knew that was too good a story to miss. It was great to receive this update from Send a Cow a few months later.
“I just wanted to give you an update on the Lifeline appeal that you so kindly wrote the letter for back in April. We had a target to raise £33,000 and at this moment we have received in excess of £44,000 which is fabulous. I feel certain that it is a credit to your letter and the wonderful photos that we achieved such an amazing amount. Your continued support for Send a Cow is having a direct result in helping us to raise much needed funds!”