Aside from working in project planning, energy analysis, documentation and structural development, I've occasionally worked as an event photographer over the last few months and once even as a wedding photographer. The demand for professional photos is high in Kenya because not everyone here has a digital camera and at least two friends who are decent amateur photographers. Creative fulfillment has a low priority for most people here and it is more likely to find its expression in dance and music when it does occur. Especially for NGOs, though, it is essential to tell stories about their work and a photo can often tell a better and more emotional story than words because it emerges the recipient in the situation. Especially when the photo gives an emotionally and contextually clear account of a situation but also leaves enough room for imagination, the viewer will experience the scene. Even though my photography skills leave much to be desired in this regard, I still hope that my photographs are sometimes telling a little story.
IMR Medical Camp
Two weeks ago we had a medical camp of International Medical Relief here. The logistics in Kenya had been organized by Diane and other helpers from DOVE Africa. 44 doctors, nurses and volunteers treated about 5000 people for free in 7 days, supported by numerous translators from our congregation. From family planning, sexual education, psychiatric consultation, medicine distribution, treatment of infectious diseases and orthopedic assistance to dental root canal treatment everything was covered. You can read more on the Omondis' blog.
My contribution was trying to capture the feverish activity, the joy of the people at work and the relationships that developed over the course of these days between the medical assistants, the interpreters and the patients. You can see my favorite photos here:
A slightly larger selection of photos can be found here and maybe in the future in an IMR brochure or webpage.
DOVE Missionary Retreat
Another occasion for photos presented itself last week when a retreat of all 18 DOVE missionaries was held on the Omondis' compound. This was a very different photographic challenge. It wasn't about capturing situations and relationships, but about creating portraits to establish a relationship between the viewer and the missionaries. You can see some of the results here:
Since all DOVE missionaries operate as families, we also took family photos and of course there was the obligatory group photo. The photos will probably be used on the DOVE website in the future.
Wedding of Jerioth & Godfrey
A few weeks ago we also had a wedding in our church and since the budget was a little tight, I had offered to take the photos. To document a whole day from the perspective of two people is a very special challenge. You can see a selection of my favorite black and white pictures here:
Although I really like photography, I find working as a professional photographer pretty stressful, and especially the necessary post-processing of hundreds of photos on the computer can be quite annoying in the commercial context. So I am pretty sure I'd rather keep photography as a hobby and keep enjoying it.