PRESS: Flakphoto ‘Making Pictures of People’ – Recent Perspectives on Photographic Portraiture

Flakphoto_chiefsflakphoto2_chiefs‘Making Pictures of People’ Recent Perspectives on Photographic Portraiture Presented by FlakPhoto in association with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Tell us about these pictures – interview with Jason Florio I made these portraits of Gambian Alkalos (village chiefs) and elders during a 42-day, 930km circumnavigation of The Republic of The Gambia, West Africa by foot…” read more here

Big thanks to Andy Adams/Flakphoto for including Jason Florio in ‘Making Pictures of People‘ – featuring the portraits of village chiefs and elders, from our 2009 expedition: ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush - 930km African odyssey‘, which became an award-winning body of work called ‘Silafando’



More funding coming in! For the River Gambia Expedtion 2012 – 1000km source to sea African odyssey

We are immensely grateful for yet another donation – this time, from Thelma & Sandy Youngson, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK.

As with our 2009 expedition donors, the Youngsons will get to choose an Exclusive Limited Edition Fine Art Print (please see following example ‘Herouna with his White Horse), from the 2012 expedition series – signed by Jason Florio – as a thank you for their donation of over $100 / £65 (the size of the print depends on how much is donated – please see our ‘How to Donate & Wish List’ page for details). They’ll also get their name on a banner, photographed, and put up on the blog and our other social media sites – FB, Twitter, Tumblr

Herouna with his horse

‘Herouna with his white horse’ The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio
From his award-winning fine art photography series ‘Silafando’ – taken whilst on ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 920km African odyssey’

BUT: For those who haven’t got a $100/£65 + to spare, don’t worry, as every penny and cent will count. Donations between $20 USD/£13 GBP – $99/£65 you will be added to the blogroll list of thanks and get your name or the name of your company/website link out there (see attached image) on the blog and social media sites too - because, once we are on the expedition, every single donor will receive have their name, or company name/website, written (in BOLD) on a piece of card, wood, fabric, the canoe paddles, if it comes to it – basically, whatever we can find! One of the team will then hold it up and a photo will be taken – whether we are in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea, rowing through hippo-abundant waters of Niokolo Koba National Park in Senegal, or standing on the historical Kunta Kinteh Island, in The Gambia. The photo will then beposted onto the blog, twit-pic’d, Facebooked, Tumblr’d – the lot! (as soon as we can get an Internet connection down there, that is)

Your name/company name/website on a banner


Image © Helen Jones-Florio: Jason Florio – Karantaba, on the River Gambia, The Gambia – 2009

Thanks again, Thelma and Sandy!

Love and respect

H & Flo xx

*Please let us know when you donate, if you prefer you donation to be anonymous

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:


Photo Editor, Stella Kramer’s Interview with Helen Jones-Florio – for Stellazine – about her 2009 Expedition


When we returned to New York, from our ‘Short Walk in The Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey‘, Stella approached me about interviewing me for her blog. She wanted her readers to know how I felt, for example, about travelling as the only woman, with four men and two donkeys – all male.

To quote Stella’s opening:

‘There’s something inherently romantic about an expedition to a foreign country. It’s in doing something new, seeing a world unlike your own and testing your own abilities. For Helen Jones, walking the length of The Gambia was familiar in that she has visited one part of the country many times, but totally new in experience, and what she learned about herself, about traveling with donkeys, and about where home really is.’

Jason Florio's Award-Winning Portraits of Village Chiefs & Elders, The Gambia

Jason Florio’s Award-Winning Portraits of Village Chiefs & Elders, The Gambia – take whilst on a 930km walk around the small West African country.

I loved being interviewed by Stella because, like any smart journalist, she asked challenging questions…questions that really made me have to think about the answers to.

During the interview, I talk in-depth about how we, photographer Jason Florio and I, came up with the idea for the 2009 Gambia expedition (over a couple of beers at a dinner party in Brooklyn!), how we went about it, how we raised funds, and how it was, walking into villages, out in the middle of the West African bush.

Blog entry from 7th November – Kalaji village, The Gambia:
‘In this particular compound, there were around 30 kids who were our chaperones right up until torch lights out in our campsite. Nothing was going to get past these kids. Every little thing seemed to interest them – even if it was just me washing my smalls!! Our team was like a mini theatre to them, in that they brought out chairs and wooden benches and placed them right up close in front of our tents. One woman even brought her embroidery! The villagers are fascinated by everything us two ‘toubabs’ (or ‘toubabo’s’ ) in our group do and that’s quite something to get used to. Not a lot of choice really. Personal space isn’t even in their vocabulary!’

One of the main questions people asked on our return was what did we eat? We were very fortunate to have been there through the harvesting season, just after the rains. So, we ate like kings – munching our way through The Gambia, on peanuts, banana’s, and melon… – ‘Short Walk in The Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey

Gambian Kids

Gambian kids love to play up to the camera – image © Helen Jones-Florio 2009

Stella: What was the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself?

‘That I managed to come out of walking around a small Gambian country for 6 weeks with 4 guys and 2 donkeys – all of them male (imagine all testosterone!) – without pulling my hair out!’

Stella Kramer - Stellazine

About Stella Kramer: ‘I am a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo editor who works as a consultant to photographers, helping them to strengthen their creative eye, put together the strongest portfolios and websites that reflect their work, and set a course to reach their professional goals… For many years I worked with such top publications as The New York Times, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and People magazine, and won numerous awards as a photo editor’ Stellazine blog