Working with NGO’s in the field

I was recently commissioned for the charity ActionAid to go out to Sierra Leone and document their in-country projects on post conflict development. It was a celebrity trip and we were taking the British Actress Sarah Alexander with us. ActionAid just asked me to do a small interview which featured on their website - you can read that here

Working for NGO's in the field is always interesting and challenging work, and I think it takes a certain approach. You have to be acutely aware that you are representing the NGO and their ethos, this is true for many photography commissions, but with NGO's you're are often working in their frontline of operations, and the very nature and sensitivity of NGO work makes it especially important. You have responsibilities not only to your client but also, and perhaps more importantly, the people that they work with on the ground, the very people the organisation aims to help. For this reason I always find it huge honour to be commissioned as a photographer for an NGO - it shows that you're considered a good operator and are trusted to work in often challenging conditions. You have to be adaptable and ready for the unexpected; this tale from a photography commission I had in Guatemala a few years back is a good example of that!  

The shot below was a team photo from the final day - we just come form spending the day working in torrential rain at the King Tommy Bommah; the biggest rubbish dump in Freetown.