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I knew there was another block of flats nearby where I could go to take that photo — a gentleman let me on to his balcony. From there, you could see the whole of the building being engulfed. I was driving near the border, and the streets were lined with people looking for aid.
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They started giving out white bags — I think they were full of food — but they were so limited that people were fighting for them. Children had been sitting on the ground, but they leapt up and this boy fought his way through the crowd. I think his crying was a reaction to everything happening around him — the combination of it being hot, him being pushed and being desperate. Slowly, groups of people came, and pickup trucks started handing out torches. It was surreal. I was stunned that they were unafraid to show their faces.
The guy in the white shirt, Peter Cvjetanovic, did an interview afterwards. But that was the context. I saw that photograph coming and I waited for about 15 minutes to get it. I was behind the police, looking up at the Native Americans — I think 75 people ended up getting arrested. I hope to help amplify indigenous voices.
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This swimmer, Ri Song-hui, is in her early twenties. People can be incredibly shy because they might not have seen foreigners walking around before. But I showed her some other portraits I had done to help her understand the project and then she was fine. There is a demystifying element to these images, I hope, in that we can see they are normal people enjoying what many of us would do on a weekend.
They come in around three months old, traumatised from having lost their mothers to poachers. They often stay with the carcass until they are rescued. We introduce them to other calves, and that becomes their company, so we can withdraw a little bit. Once they are large enough, we release them into a reserve — which happened a couple of days after I took this photograph. They are dehorned as a poaching deterrent. They are anaesthetised, and as much as possible is removed, down to the base. The blue you can see is an antiseptic spray.
Afterwards, I became interested in the Oakland fire department, which responded. I asked if I could document the first recruit class after the Ghost Ship fire. This photograph was one of the first shots I took. I was looking at the way in which the newcomers could be affected by what happened, but also their enthusiasm for the job and dedication. All of them graduated. This man is dropping a homemade octopus lure down to the seabed. Octopus is one of the main species they hunt. The Bajau are famous for their freediving — they can hold their breath for about five minutes underwater.
One of the biggest challenges we faced was that the only scuba school in the region had run out of oxygen. I had to learn a few freediving techniques to take this photograph: I dived down and frantically shot a few frames before my air ran out. The march felt massive — especially compared to the inauguration the day before.
I wanted to try to show the number of people there and the content of the signs — some were funny, some serious, but they were all really creative. Thousands of people come to celebrate the end of the rainy season. It is also an important meeting point. This photograph is of young Fulani men taking part in a ceremony to attract the attention of potential girlfriends and wives.
These men do their dances, which are centuries old, but then they take out their mobile phones or jump on their scooters. The protesters in the picture were using a huge catapult to throw bottles filled with paint and stones. All this was happening in the middle of a confrontation with the National Guard soldiers.
The soldiers were launching tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. There was so much going on in that moment — I only had a second to take the picture. I photographed the demonstration, but then I saw this group of kids hanging out in the park. I realised one of them was about to jump — and fortunately I already had the camera to my eye as he spun upside-down. I lived in Donetsk until the war started. One day pro-Russian separatists detained me and said they would pay me to work for their media channel.
Almost every week I go to the frontline. I used to work on a local newspaper in Donetsk — I never expected to become a war photographer. Or maybe some local fashion students would be interested in being photographed in return for a copy of your photos to add to their portfolio. Or how about getting together with a group of like-minded creative people through a photography meetup?
A meetup is a group of people often strangers living in or visiting a certain location, who have common interests or hobbies. Each year, local photographers, models, hair stylists, clothing suppliers and make-up artists gather in a cool location for a large photography session. After the models have had their hair and makeup done, each photographer and model pairs up to create an image. Then another pairing happens and so it continues. Credit for these photographs are shared with me, Barb Crawford who organized the meetup, and Judith Mackin who lent her amazing modern home to us for the session.
The location you select will depend on the kind of look you want to create in your photos.
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Do you have a theme for your fashion shoot? Do you want to create a certain mood in your photos? Look for locations that offer flexibility with lighting — lots of big windows will help with illuminating your subject. Look for areas that have good natural window light and a pleasing background. A plain painted wall or some pretty wallpaper will be perfectly adequate. The corner of a room often works well because of the lines and shadows.
Using a tripod will keep your iPhone steady to ensure your shots are as sharp as possible. But having the tripod there if you need it will make your task a lot easier.
My Free Portrait Photography Poses Checklists
And because the iPhone is so light-weight, plastic attachments and tripods are usually fine and much cheaper than metal alternatives for heavy cameras. Alternatively, you can purchase an iPhone case that has a built-in tripod mount that screws straight onto the tripod. It also has a handy sunshade for easier viewing of the screen, especially if your photo shoot happens to be outside.
Right-hand photo credit: Allie Beckwith. The type of lighting that you choose will depend on your location, the look and mood you want to create, and of course… your budget! Shooting on a slightly overcast day will provide a softer and more even light.