Florio’s portraits of Gambian chiefs and elders win another award – ‘Px3′, 2012

Px3 – Prix de la Photographie, 2012 - Winner-Silver Medal: Professional Portraiture – Culture category

Congratulations to Florio – he has just won yet another award from Px3 (his 3rd with them!) for his portrait’s of Gambian chiefs and elders, which he took whilst we were on our last expedition ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey’ in 2009, in The Gambia, West Africa. To see more about his awards and exhibitions etc., please visit his website Bio section.

Px3 Paris - winner Jason Florio 2012

Px3 2012 Paris – Winner ‘Professional Portraiture/Culture Category – Jason Florio’s images of chiefs and elders made while on a 930km expedition by foot of The Gambia, West Africa.
‘Silafando’ is a gift made by a traveler to a village chief as thanks for his hospitality and protection for the night.

He may do something similar on the River Gambia Expedition 2012 but, like all best laid plans, that idea could change once we get on the ground and see what else catches his eye and imagination. We’ll be on the River Gambia, through Guinea, Senegal and finally into The Gambia (1000km +), for as much of the route as possible so it will be fascinating to see what we come across to photograph and write about.

Alkalo Messaneh Cham, Chamen Sosseh, The Gambia

Alkalo (chief) Messaneh Cham, Chamen Sosseh, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

Alkalo (the chief), Massaneh Cham, was a grand old man, who had on flowing white robes, a red and white skullcap, sporting a white beard and gold-rimmed, aviator-style shades – a very stylish gentleman indeed. Mr Cham is one of my favourite portraits of all the chief’s Florio had sit for him. And, I love the chicken lolloping past in the background too.

An exert from Helen’s forthcoming book – a woman’s perspective on their 930km walk around The Gambia, West Africa:

Wednesday 9th December, 2009 – Chamen Sosseh village. Distance walked to-date: 827.55km

‘Once Flo presents the silafando, and the chief kindly agrees to sit for a portrait, we prepare the backdrop. The old chief is a little unsteady on his legs so we find a wooden bench for him to sit on. I scan around the compound and see a pure white goatskin, stretched over a branch, on a nearby tree. That will go perfectly with the chief’s outfit, I think, draped over the bench he’s sitting on. I ask one of the young village boys, who is helping us to go and ask the chief’s wife if we can use the goatskin. He calls out a name, and from inside a nearby hut, an elderly woman comes out and walks towards us. The boy asks her, in Mandinka, about the skin and she nods and goes to fetch it…’ More news on the book…coming soon.

And, of course, more updates on our forthcoming journey will be posted on a regular basis.

Thanks for jumping on board!

The Florios (Jason & Helen)

Please click on the image below to watch Jason Florio as he explains how you can own one of his fine art photography prints, from a series of images he will take whilst on the River Gambia Expedition 2012: