While in Jamaica I’ve held 2 photography workshops, the second shorter one being held at the Marcus Garvey Youth Information Centre in St. Ann’s Bay.
To finish our mini-workshop we invited other artists to speak and held a day of positive messages for the students.
For me photography is not just about knowing how to use a camera, but more importantly about what & how the photographer decides to shoot and present. So I thought it important to include a lesson on how to view the world in a conscious manner.
We had the powerful dub poet Steppa talk to the students and singer Ky-eni performing. After all the talking we headed for a photoshoot with Ky-eni at Marcus Garvey’s birthplace in St. Ann’s Bay. The students also had a chance to do their mini shoots with Ky-eni.
I was expecting the house to be under National Heritage or government management and to see some visitors there, as it is world historically of major importance.
Instead when we got there we found 2 guys chilling in the yard who lived there and they turned out to be Marcus Garvey’s great-great-great-grandsons and the other one looked exactly like Marcus Garvey. Only in Jamaica can you go to the 1st national hero’s house and find his family smoking a spliff in the yard ! <3 <3 <3 Jamaica !
Check out the pics of this beautiful place & Ky-eni -
With the help of Gavin Myers from the Social Development Commission and my friend, Jamaican artist Kimone Cotterell, I held a 4-day photography workshop in Cassava Piece, Kingston for a group of local people.
On Friday we had a wonderful exhibition and certificate ceremony at HELP Jamaica! -education center in Cassava Piece where the best student work was on display as well as some beautiful local art.
Everyone who completed the course received a certificate of participation and they all deserve some real praise. All the students were there with their whole heart and soul and because of that, got so much out of this workshop.
I’m amazed by the quality of their work after just some short lessons on technical stuff and photography values.
Their inspiration gives me so much inspiration back that I know I have to keep doing this and growing it so we can help more.
I thought some of the students deserved a special mention for their enthusiasm, passion, willingness to learn, productivity and natural creative talent, so we also handed out some awards of excellence, with which I gave the 4 students their own cameras.
AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE:
Ferdinand Watson and
Well actually Erica, who had a camera before said to give hers to someone else so I decided to give the fourth camera to the person whose story touched me the most - Mikey aka Michael McIntosh.
He served 25 years in maximum security prison in Jamaica and recently got out and had never used a camera before this workshop. He told me he thinks it’s true what I said about photos being memories and he wants to take/make more and I really think he deserves them so the last camera could not have gone to a better place.
Here’s all the students:
CONRAD SMIKLE (Award of Excellence)
ERICA MORRISON (Award of Excellence)
FERDINAND WATSON (Award of Excellence)
ALICIA aka NICKY GARRISON
ODANE GREEN (Award of Excellence)
And their best work from the workshop + the work of Gavin Myers & Kimone Cotterell.
I wish I could show you all but more will be seen at the Helsinki exhibition in August when my documentary of the project is ready !! Look out for that and enjoy some of the talent of Jamaica ! Blessed love.
Hello friends !
A little warning. This is the longest post I have so far done, because it is about the most important thing I have done so far in my life.
Please read & check out pics & enjoy the positive vibes only Jamaica can give you !
For the last few months I’ve been working towards teaching a photography workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, in collaboration with HELP Jamaica! -education center in Cassava Piece as well as Jamaican Social Development Commission.
I collected donation cameras from Finland, bought some in NYC and carried all 15 of them (in hand luggage) to Kingston.
Last week I finally saw the project happen with the help of my friend, Jamaican artist, Kimone Cotterell and the wonderful Gavin Myers from SDC.
Together we held a 4-day workshop at the Church on the Rocks in the Cassava Piece community for local people whose ages and life stories were extremely diverse.
Some of the youngest students turned out to be really talented and quick to learn, with a few of them even wanting to study photography in the future.
One of the oldest students has recently got out of prison after serving 25 years and has never used a camera before but told me that he wants to take more now because pictures are about memories. The other one of my mature students has turned out to be probably the most productive and naturally talented photographer of the punch, who eagerly carries the camera everywhere documenting the community he loves and does his best to care for.
One of my students told me that this has given her life new direction. All of them have been enthusiastic and interested and positive and extremely quick to learn.
I could not have asked to work with a better group of people, the students, my colleagues, HELP Jamaica! & SDC staff included.
This past week makes me feel very humble and joyful of the power to touch people’s lives for the better with simple things like giving forward a skill you have. It can change the course of somebody’s entire life.
The students shot with point & shoot cameras but everyday we went through a little information about the technique and values of photography. Most of each day was spent shooting around the Cassava Piece community as well as Downtown Kingston.
For the weekend they each had a camera to shoot whatever they wanted and yesterday we had a personal evaluation day.
This week Friday we are holding an exhibition at the HELP Jamaica -education center in Cassava Piece of the best student work. On Friday I’ll post the same work on my website too.
I’m also making a documentary of the workshop and will show it at the Helsinki exhibition in August.
Cassava piece is know as community with a bad reputation but the reputation is wildly exaggerated and I believe magnifying the worst things can only make everything worse so with this workshop we concentrate on the positive even if some issues are serious.
I hope some of the following and the upcoming student pictures will help to lift the bad reputation a little. Cassava Piece is a community just like any other. People are basically the same everywhere you go and we all want the same things out of life - love, security, health and peace for ourselves, our families and loved ones.
Here’s some pics of the students at work and Friday I’ll publish their best work !
@ HELP Jamaica! -education center
5 Cassava Piece Rd
WARM WELCOME !
Here’s the last of the last of Jamaica 2012, time to get new ones !
I had the joy to shoot the wonderful Swedish singer Etzia in Bull Bay while she was making a few music videos and Jamaican roots reggae artist Ras J around Ochi. Here’s the colorful results.
Check out Etzia’s video for her tune ‘Same Thing A Gwaan’ that features her wearing IMT earrings ! Link below the pics !
Etzia - Same Thing A Gwan (official music video)
After an especially eventful winter in Helsinki, I’m finally off to the beautiful island of Jamaica again !!!
This time I have been truly blessed as exactly what I dreamed of when tearfully leaving last year is now happening. I get to teach a photography course at the wonderful HELP Jamaica! -education centre in Kingston. HELP Jamaica! is a non-profit organisation and their primary goal is to raise funds in order to support and establish library and education projects in Jamaica.
I have been collecting cameras and material for the course in Finland and after the course there will an exhibition of the best student work in Kingston as well as Helsinki. My challenge is to document the journey and make a short film documentary of it.
Pictures coming up soon but in the meanwhile, here’s the last to sets of pics from last year’s trip.
Thank you so much Canon Finland and all the wonderful people for all the cameras !!
IMT STREET WEAR JERSEY & COLLEGE COLLECTION
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Thanks to wonderful photographer Kai Kuusisto and all my beautiful models
Emilia, Jose, Adry, Yona, Riina, Tanja, Hanna, Toni & Milla.
Last Saturday I photographed Reggae Snowsplash festival @ Tavastia club in Helsinki.
It was a great night with lots of great artists, headlining the wonderful Bitty McLean (UK/JAM), one of my all time favourite lovers rock artists.
Big up all the performers & audience, it was a pleasure to shoot !
Here’s the line up & pics of the night -
PUPPA J & FADA FRANCIS
DON JUSA BAND
SALOMO & BAND
PUNKY REGGAE BAND & PAPA ZAI
More pictures from Jamaica 2012. This time some shots of my friend Meri-Tuuli Hirvonen, leader of Finland’s leading dancehall group Bubblin’ Crew with Elite Team and Real Konnection dance crews from Kingston, Jamaica. Thanks to all the dancers !
More coming pics soon.
To celebrate my this years travels to beautiful Jamaica in March & April, and get into the right state of mind, I’ve been going through my photos from last year.
Here’s the first pics, more pics + info coming up soon !