This article on photographing Kenya and it’s people is courtesy of 18-year-old travel photographer Kole Purdy.
My Journey to Professional Photography
In June of 2014, my Dad quit his 20-year career. In November of 2014, using our life savings, we left the ‘American dream’ to travel and experience the world for a year. I’m from a family of 7 and my parents have always encouraged creativity and following our passions. I discovered my passion for photography in month one of our family journey. I met professional photographers while traveling through SE Asia, Asia, and Europe.
One particular photographer in Vietnam took a personal interest in me and my development as a photographer. He encouraged me and showed me some basic lighting principles that laid a foundation for my work today. My skill and knowledge has grown exponentially in last 20 months.
We settled back in the U.S. in late 2015. I found myself eager to photograph other cultures again. I also started a portraiture business to pass the time and create income with my passion. Business boomed. My knowledge of the art of lighting and portraiture grew tremendously. I began to pray and ask for an opportunity to photograph abroad again.
Documenting the People of Kenya
In June of 2016, non-profit organization Just One Africa contacted me. For a year, they had been praying and searching for someone to help tell their story through photography. They stumbled across my website through a shared Facebook post. They contacted me about a trip to Kenya with a departure time only two weeks way. I joyously accepted the offer to be their photographic storyteller.
Two weeks later – I was in Kenya.
I spent two weeks in various parts of Kenya. I photographed the Masai culture and traditions. I photographed 70 children at a rescue center – all of whom had amazing and miraculous rescue stories. I captured water filter distributions in areas where clean water was a foreign concept. (They literally looked at us as if we were crazy when we told them their water was dirty.) I was able to capture the beautiful faces of Kenya.
My goal is simply to use my gift of photographic storytelling for the good of others who don’t have a way to share their story. I’m not blessed with this gift to hold tightly and better myself. I believe one of the reasons that God gave me the gift is to tell the stories of people who NEED their stories told.
The Apollo Orb and a speedlite was PERFECT for lighting my subjects on this assignment. They are travel-friendly, quick & easy to set up, durable, and versatile. Not only did it easily help me get the job done but I came away with beautiful and creative story-telling images.
Learn more about Just One Africa’s mission to improve water conditions in Africa and how you can help by visiting their justoneafrica.org.