This little girl and her mother came to the MSF pediatrics hospital in Bria, Central African Republic, for treatment. Most children in the region suffer from malaria or respiratory infections. During the rainy season, the numbers are much higher than the dry season but there are still very high rates year round in this 'malaria endemic' region.
These kids were child soldiers in the rebels' war in the Central African Republic. The atrocities they witnessed and committed will forever leave deep emotional scars. They are working with an Italian NGO to rehabilitate and re-enter society.
These ladies had so much fun taking pictures with me at the hotel where they work in Goreme, Turkey. They even grabbed props for the photos!
Felice Hernandez is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter who has successfully created a full-time career with her art. She balances her creative life with her family life enjoying time with her husband and 2 children.
I photographed a friend's cousin's kids in New Orleans one summer. This little guy had a special outfit and jacket purchased just for the occasion.
In 2001, my sister was working in Niger with the Peace Corps in a management position. One day we drove around a region that had a handful of Peace Corps volunteers who had been stationed in the field for 5 months. While my sister talked with the PCV, I photographed this little girl. She was standing next to my chair and I was using a point & shoot film camera. This was years before I studied photography.
Originally we were just going to photograph the kids but then I saw how cute the dad was with his younger son. He was putting shoes on this son while HIS shoes show his NOLA pride.
Mother and daughter captured next to a pond at a small park in Santa Monica, CA where they were attending a friend's birthday party.
My friend, Sadia, invited me over to her house to take some photos of her family in Bria, CAR. One of her daughters immediately jumped in front of the camera and started posing. She was such a riot.
Touring a sanitation facility with CARE Madagascar, I met this super friendly village resident with a smile to remember.
I'll never forget that super chilly, windy November day when I visited Brighton, UK. There are local residents who walk the pier every day to get their exercise. This was one of the first portraits I ever shot.
I have worked with the Extera Schools in Boyle Heights and surrounding neighborhoods over the past several years. These girls saw me and got very excited for their portrait on the playground!
These girls were child soldiers in the Central African Republic for several years. Two of them are sisters and the younger followed the older sister when there was no one left to care for her. She joined the Seleka children's army because she was hungry and alone. The girls are working with an Italian NGO to rehabilitate and re-enter society.
In eastern Madagascar, CARE is supporting a women's cooperative that is providing funding to small scale farming projects and women's healthcare. These women are part of the board of advisors and were standing outside the conference room.
I photographed this gorgeous couple's birthday party they threw for their one year old daughter.
I came across this entrepreneur on the beach in Ghana in 2007 selling gorgeous seashells. I asked her to stop so I could take her picture and we bought some seashells, of course.
Ashley Novasad moved from North Carolina to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of being a famous actress. We created her gorgeous headshots right on my street. Interesting backgrounds are everywhere you turn.
At the age of 15, Danielle Orner was diagnosed with bone cancer and a month later, had her leg amputated. For the following 10 years, the doctors told her she would continue to battle cancer. After her second near-death experience due to Western medicine, she decided to take her treatment into her own hands. After 2 years of being a Vegan, her doctors were shocked that the cancer had not returned.
Taking on meditation and yoga has allowed Danielle to get in touch with a deep love and appreciation of self. She has healed old wounds and gotten to a place of compassion and forgiveness for herself and others. She has taken on yoga teacher-training, requiring up to 6 hours of yoga a day. Her groundedness and pure joy for life shines through.
Full story with images here.
Every aspect of Eli's life is about Permaculture and finding or creating sustainable solutions. She sees a future where healthy, affordable, organic food is accessible to everyone. She is a born teacher and leader with deep knowledge of her craft and an activist’s heart. She absolutely blew me away with her focus, determination and commitment. I was honored to have met her.
For full photo essay go here.
Sadia Tamboura may be the Sterilization Manager for the MSF hospital in Bria, CAR but she is so much more than that. Sadia is a trusted contact (who speaks 5 languages) for the Project Coordinator and provides vital access to all parties involved in the conflict. She is also an amazing friend.
Check out my MSF blog on Sadia here.
MSF had a mobile clinic in Ethiopia on the border with South Sudan where refugees were streaming in. There were over 7,000 refugees set up in giant shelters UNHCR had constructed for them. People sought safety with just a few precious belongings and I couldn't help but notice the spirit of hope was still alive among the people I encountered. It was inspiring.
This 15-year old young man joined the ex-Seleka children's army during the crisis of 2013. There was no functioning government in the Central African Republic. All schools were closed and this child's parents were killed. He had no one to protect him, no family and he followed one of his older friends into the army so that he could be fed and protected. He is deeply troubled by what he saw and did during those years. He's now working with an Italian NGO committed to rehabilitating these ex-child soldiers.
El-Makine works in the OPD (Outpatient Dept) of MSF's pediatrics hospital in Bria, CAR. I swear, I never saw her wear the same thing twice. She had an incredible wardrobe.
Curtis and Amra were photographed in a backyard right when the sun was setting. I used only natural light and love the lens-flare you can see on the bottom of the image. The sun disappeared right after this shot but I got it in time to give them both a halo that just made it magical.
There is a large tent with over 20 beds set up for hospitalization at the MSF hospital in Bria, CAR. During the high season for malaria, we had 2 or 3 kids (and their moms!) in each bed. This was the low season and this baby only had to share her twin sized bed with her mama.
When we arrived at the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary in the Volta Region of Ghana, these two guys greeted us immediately. My niece was around the same age (4 or 5) and they were all chasing each other around the rustic compound of our hotel. The sun was setting and cast a gorgeous light on the stucco building these kids were sitting in front of.
These teenage siblings patiently agreed to be photographed in a series of family portraits. This one was toward the end of the photoshoot on a bridge in the Santa Monica Mountains. I loved getting their shoes in the shot.
When I was in South Africa I was working on a series about twins. The whole afternoon I was actually pointing the camera at the younger girl and her fraternal twin brother. The older sister was there and when I saw that both of them had hands covered in henna tattoos from a recent wedding, I had to get this shot.
Vallean Mann needed new headshots and we got some gorgeous stuff. She is over 80 years old and is still pursing her dreams to be a successful actor. Keep pursuing your dreams no matter how old you are!
Mahamat-zen is a driver in Bria, CAR for one of the large NGO's in town. His 'sister' (aka friend since childhood) leans on his shoulders for a portrait in her own backyard.
Sadia is another woman in Bria who never wore the same thing twice. I swear, this woman must have 200 dresses/ensembles. Read more about her here.
CARE Madagascar supports a sanitation project where these gentlemen are part of the counsel of elders.