On our last four or five trips I have been taking photographs and filming. Having the ability to shoot both on the same camera has really altered the way I work and is starting to shape my career too. Essentially we have evolved into a small footprint production team that can capture photos, film and audio to accompany our stories. A real bonus of being able to shoot both stills and movie on the same kit is the ability to be more discrete and of course it helps to keep the costs down too.
We often find ourselves working in tight spaces and in sensitive environments, whether that be in hospitals or people’s homes and so it helps not having massive cameras and a big team of people. Also the latest DSLR cameras perform really well in low light and so can cope quite easily in darker locations with out the need for lights. I was recently filming in a hospital in Ethiopia and the doctor couldn’t believe I just had a small camera, because a couple of weeks earlier the film crew had a big film camera and a set of lights. I was able to scrub up and discreetly get some footage without getting in the way. Once I had what I needed I was out and back on the wards.
This time last year we were commissioned by Merlin to collect stories, photographs and film about the impact of their work in Kenya. We had ten days to cover a lot of ground. Below are just a few examples of what we collected up in Turkana, northern Kenya, where we spent a couple of days visiting some really remote areas. There is also a short film about the trip.
What you are seeing below is an antenatal meeting under a tree. Many, if not all, of these pregnant ladies had walked for over an hour to get there and some considerably further distances. For some this was their first appointment ever, despite being on their third, fourth or even fifth pregnancy!
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