‘River Gambia’ – back to Photoville, Brooklyn, NY, Part 2 – shipping container doors open again this week

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Jason Florio’s fine art prints available to purchase at Photoville + editions of VQR © Jason Florio

We both had a fine old time during the first four days of Photoville 2013. It was a great to see so many friends (over and over again during the 4 days – what a treat!) and we made some new ones too. With ‘Ebrima‘ welcoming people into our container pop-up gallery, we were completely bowled over by everyone’s reaction to the River Gambia work, along with the footage we filmed from the journey. Check it out on Vimeo

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Premiering at Photoville, 2013 – ‘River Gambia’ footage by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-FlorioVimeo

Florio’s fine art photography prints also garnered much attention – particularly our exclusive-for-the duration-of-Photoville offers on 8×10″, 11×14″ and 16×20″ prints. Amongst the best sellers, from Jason Florio’s ‘River Gambia‘ series were:

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‘Ebrima in Fur’ – of course! © Jason Florio

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Close runner up – ‘Boy in the Mask’ © Jason Florio

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‘Swimming Horses’ © Jason Florio

From the black and white, Makasutu, collection – portraits which Florio made over a period of 12 years, traveling to The Gambia (the later one’s which I had the honor of working with him on):

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‘Abdou with Rescued Crocodile’ and our River Gambia team mate © jason Florio

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‘Ismaila on his horse, Jumpex’ © Jason Florio

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‘Painted Face’ © Jason Florio

We’ll have more prints available to purchase, at the Photoville-only offer, whilst stocks last that is! We’re also offering 30% off the usual print prices, for those who can’t make it to Photoville, for the duration of Photoville (ends 8.30pm EST Sunday 29th Sept, 2013). Please contact me for the details: helen.jones@floriophoto.com

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The River Gambia doors will reopen to the public Thurs 26th at 4pm-10pm – Sunday 29th Sept at 12 noon-8.30pm

Photoville Part 2 – Come along to and venture into our mighty African river journey – ‘River Gambia-1044km source-sea African odyssey‘ – Presented by the Virginia Quarterly Review - We’ll both be there to show you the way…

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The ‘official’ Florios Photoville 2013 portrait © Chris Bartlett

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Photography Exhibition: ‘Equus’ – Brooklyn, NY. Opening night reception – June 19, 2013

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Herouna Tonkara with his horse – The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

Jason Florio will have two pieces in the above show – one from our very recent ‘River Gambia Expedition’ and one from our 2009 ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush’ expedition: the above image is from his award-winning body of work: ‘Silafando’  

The second image, from our river journey, was taken in Karantaba – where the 18th Century Scottish explorer (and our inspiration), Mungo Park, stayed during his travels into the interior of West Africa.

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Swimming horses – on the River Gambia at Karantaba, The Gambia, W Africa © Jason Florio

If you are in New York on the 19th June, 6-8.30pm, please feel free to stop by the gallery – Tabla Rasa, Brooklyn – and have a glass of wine with us and view the exhibition.

For an update on the River Gambia Expedition, as of today, please visit the following blog post: Tales from the River Gambia – reflecting on what’s gone by and what’s t come…’

Protronica on board – we are powered up for the River Gambia Expedition!!

We have been incredibly fortunate to have Rob Garner of Protonica to team up with us and our MacBook Pros for our River Gambia Expedition. Keeping our MacBooks powered up while weeks away from grid fed power has been a long conversation. Protronica supplies HyperJuice batteries – a compact and powerful answer to keep us juiced up deep into West Africa. Using our GoalZero solar panels we’ll be able feed HyperJuice batteries during the day while on the move, and have plenty of power to work on our images and words on the Macs at night. HyperJuice is the ONLY external battery and car charger solution that works with ALL MacBook®, MacBook Air® and MacBook Pro (supports dual voltage). Available in 4 different sizes (60~222Wh), the HyperJuice battery also powers the iPhone®, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and all other USB devices. Protonica has an array of great technology so please take a look at their site - Protronica

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to Rob and Protonica for their generous support and techie advice!!

Jason & Helen

Jason Florio talks about the River Gambia Expedition and his fine art photography prints. Please click on image to view

31st Aug Deadline: ‘Print Draw’: For just $25/£16 – a chance to win one of Jason Florio’s fine art photography prints

‘Indian Dancer’ The state of Rajasthan © Jason Florio pdf image#5

There is still time to get your name put into the hat before the 31st August deadline for the ‘Print Draw’.

A one-off chance to acquire one of, multi award-winning photographer (and River Gambia Expedition 2012 Co-leader), Jason Florio’s limited edition fine art photography prints for a song!

Angkor Wat, Cambodia © Jason Florio pdf image#4

OK… we don’t exactly expect you to sing us a song – although, any good ones will be greatly received and Vimeo’d! – for as little as $25/£16 we are offering you the chance to win one of a series of 8, 16″x20″ Pre-Expedition 2012 Donation prints 2012 (please click on the link to download the pdf of images) – in exchange for your donation.

Sky Over Texas © Jason Florio – pdf image#7

Here’s how the print draw exchange works:

$25/£16 will get your name put into the hat one time

$100/£65 will get your name put into the hat five times (5 for the price of 4 and a better chance of getting a print!).

The winner will be announced, after the names have been drawn from the hat, on August 31st, 2012 @ 4pm EST/9pm GMT

click on this link: Paypal Instructions – for a step by step guide on how to donate. Or, if you have a paypal account, simply click on the PayPal icon, at the top, in the right hand column of this page.

As an added bonus: the winner will also receive an exclusive 8″x10″ River Gambia Expedition 2012 print, which Jason will take whilst in the journey.

If you don’t want to take a chance then, to guarantee you get a print for your donation, you can always go through the usual donations channels and donate $100/£65 and over (open until 1st October, 2012): ‘An Exchange: donations for fine art prints from the River Gambia Expedition 2012′ Please Note: Anyone who donates $100/£65 and over, before the 31st August, through the usual donations channels, will automatically have their name included in the August 31st ‘print draw’.

‘Caravan, England’ © Jason Florio pdf image#1

Come on, you know it makes sense!

Love, thanks and respect

The Florios x

P.S. FYI: Through the gallery, Florio’s 16×20 fine art photography prints normally retail at $1,200-$1,500/£770-£970

If you want to see how to guarantee you get a print by Jason Florio, in exchange for a donation, please check out Jason on Vimeo (click the image to view):

‘Silafando’ – Fine Art Portraits of Village Chiefs & Elders from The Gambia, West Africa, by Jason Florio

‘Silafando’ – Award-winning Portraits from The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

© Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

© Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

© Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

Silafandoa gift to you on behalf of my journey’ - Award-winning portraits of village chiefs and elders from The Gambia, West Africa. Image © Jason Florio, 2009

If you would like to help Jason Florio to produce his next body of work, from West Africa (this time from: Guinea, Senegal and, The Gambia – ‘River Gambia Expedition 2012-1000km source to sea Africa odyssey’), please check out this link.

PDN EDU (Photo District News): ‘Business Smarts: A Little Help from Your Friends’

In October 2010, PDN EDU interviewed a couple of photographers, one of which was Jason Florio, our River Gambia Expedition 2012 photographer and co-leader.

The interview was about how photographers were looking to their friends, family and colleagues to help facilitate their personal projects – having not been able to get upfront commitment from editorial outlets (due to budgets being drastically cut over the last few years). ‘Come back to us with a finished piece’ doesn’t really help when you have (un)available funds of ’0′ in your bank account. This was the advent of ‘crowd-funding’ it seems. And, its what we did, in 2009, to help us get our ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey’ off the ground – although, the now-popular phrase ‘crowd-funding’ was certainly not something we were familiar with back then. But, it definitely wasn’t a new concept, as Jason explained, in the PDN EDU interview, where his inspiration originated from, :

‘Florio funded his walking expedition in the Gambia primarily through a fine art print pre-sale, a tradition he can trace at least as far back as Edward Sheriff Curtis, the famed photographer of the late 19th-century American West who funded his expeditions through pre-sales. “Instead of just asking people for straight cash,” Florio says, “we’d offer them a print in return, starting at $100 for an 8-by-10 print and then scaling the price up from there.” ‘

Florio records a young Fula tribe boy playing a traditional flute, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio 2009

‘As soon as the funds are raised, it’s time to get out and start making pictures! While the vision of any large-scale project will grow and evolve as it unfolds, with community-funded projects, the donors become materially involved. Photographers should keep their sponsors updated on the project’s progress, either through a blog or personal, individualized contact, and deliver any promised rewards in a timely manner.

That reciprocity may be the ultimate benefit of community-based fundraising: It is truly a two-way street. Florio noticed that donors seemed “excited to be involved in some way in the expedition. I think they were glad to have a role in our journey.” In the process of sourcing the community for funds, photographers have the opportunity to bolster the meaning of community itself.’ Read the whole article at PDN EDU – Oct 6th 2010

Village chief, Dadi Bah, of Tuba Dabbo, The Gambia © Jason Florio

Jason Florio’s portraits of Gambian village chiefs and elders, taken on their 930km walk, made the front cover of PDN

And today, we are doing the same thing…hey, if it ain’t broken… . And, it’s still a long hard slug, and a huge test of faith, self-discipline and the patience of Job, getting funding in. There’s no sitting back on our laurels in the Florio household. We wish! Particularly, when we’re still up at 1am, so that we can work with US time-zones and product sponsors (we live in New York but we’re based in London, working on getting everything ready to fly down to West Africa). Suffice to say, we work long, payless, hours. Consistently. For 6 months in advance – on getting to the target amount that we need for our budget – praying that Florio gets the odd assignment booked in between times, to make sure we can pay the bills! We live and breath the darn thing – even dreaming about how we can make this or that happen (I keep a note pad by the bed for those times that I wake in the middle of the night with a ‘bingo moment’ – and there are many – most of which really don’t make much sense, at all, reading them in the cold light of dawn). What else can we possibly do to raise this much? what can go wrong? contingency planning, planning, planning…yada, yada, yada… .

However, we’re not complaining… No siree bob. The rewards and people’s generosity continues to astound and humble us. More than anything, its the believe – as much, if not more than we have at times (after endless sleep-deprived nights) – that people have in what we are trying to achieve. And, moreover, the outcome of the work, made on such expeditions, can be breathtaking. Thankfully, Mr Florio is pretty good at producing that ‘Wow’ factor – which helps to keep both our sponsors and donors happy. No doubt, he’ll cringe with embarrassment at me for writing that.

Plus, we have amazing, indelible, experiences, and memories which come with the territory.

Speaking of Mr Florio, here is the man in question, talking about the same subject he spoke with PDN about, three years ago, in ‘A Little Help from Your Friends’ article – and now about the 2012 expedition (please click on the image to view):

Thanks to absolutely everyone who has helped us out so far. We hope to return with images worthy of gracing your wall’s in early 2013.

Big Love and respect

Helen & Florio x

AFAR Magazine – features Jason Florio’s, The Great Rift Valley, Kenya, image on the cover

AFAR Magazine ‘ Runners High’ - Words: Matt Gross. Images: Jason Florio

AFAR Magazine Cover - Kenya

Cover shot: Lake Bogoria – home to thousands of pink flamingos, The Kenyan Rift Valley, East Africa © Jason Florio

The things we Florio’s get up to when we aren’t planning a West Africa river expedition:

Last year, we were very fortunate to be sent on a photo assignment by travel magazine AFAR to Kenya, East Africa and, in particular, up to the Great Rift Valley. I was producing, Florio was photographing, and we hooked up with the writer, Matt Gross, up there. It has to be one of the most wondrously, beautiful places I have been to yet.

Matt, a New Yorker, is a keen runner so he wanted to write a story based around marathon runners, training at high altitude, in and around Iten, in the Rift Valley – which is less than an hours flight from the capital, Nairobi, to Eldoret (then a 30 minute drive to Iten). Kenya produces some of the fastest runners in the world and one place that many of them train, up in Iten, is at the High Altitude Training Centre (HATC), founded by 4 times World Champion runner, Lorna Kiplagat. And, its not just Kenyan runners. When we were staying at the centre, the British Olympic team were there, in training for the Olympics.

We also spent a fair bit of time with some of the local Kenyan runners (who we met through our great local fixer, Alex Matalambut Keles )- all either top athletes in their field or well on the way. There is an enormous amount of competition in Kenya, when it comes to running though. Everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to run – from small kids, running to school, to elderly women joining in a half marathon, which were following, for the fun of it, running in their flip flops – we watched one older woman overtake one of the official marathon runners, in his hi-tec running shoes!

Kenya marathon runners

Kenyan marathon runners, Iten, The Rift Valley, Kenya – image © Jason Florio for AFAR Magazine

Iten farmer

Farmer, Iten, Kenya © Jason Florio for AFAR Magazine

School kids run to say ‘jambo!’ – Eldoret, Kenya © Jason Florio for AFAR Magazine

Runners, Kenya

Runners, runners…all around – Iten, Kenya © Jason Florio for AFAR Magazine

Iten, Kenya © Jason Florio for AFAR Magazine

Maasai woman – Lake Bogoria, Kenya © Jason Florio for AFAR Magazine

Kenya is definitely on my ‘places to revisit’ list. A remarkable, welcoming place, where firm friendships were formed. How could you not be attracted to people who smile and laugh so much…

Nice one, Florio. Job well done.

Helen x

P.S. not to make light of the realities of life for the majority of Kenyans, I wrote a short piece on my observations on some young children we met, whilst following the half marathon up near Kabarnet, in the Rift Valley Kids at play…and work, Kenyan Rift Valley, East Africa

Kids at play…and work, Kenyan Rift Valley, East Africa

Kabarnet, Kenya © Helen Jones-Florio

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:

Jason Florio’s Award-winning Portraits of Village Chiefs and Elders – Limited Edition Prints from the 2009 Expedition Donors

June 13th 2012

The series of portraits that Florio took on our 2009 expedition, of village chiefs/Alkalo’s and elders became an award-winning body of work and featured in Resource Magazine, cover of PDN (Photo District News) etc…

2010 NY Photo Festival, Honorary Mention – fine art/personal series

2010 Lucie’s/International Photography Awards – over all winner ‘People’ category

2010 Lucie’s/ International Photography Awards – 1st place ‘People : ‘Culture’

The portraits were also available for those donors, who donated for limited edition expedition prints in 2009, to make their choices from.

Limited Edition Expedition 2012 Prints: If you make a donation of $100/£65 or over, you will be offered a selection of fine art photography Limited Edition Prints to choose from, from the expedition – how much you donate will determine the size of print you will receive. Please see our ‘How to Donate’ page – the in’s and out’s.

'Silafando' © Jason FlorioL-R: Umbi Salla Touray (Alkalo’s mother) & Kanifana Touray (Alkalo’s sister-in-law)
Balanghar Bental, The Gambia, West Africa, 2009 © Jason Florio

'Silafando' © Jason Florio

Herouan Tonkara, with his horse, Suduwole, The Gambia, West Africa, 2009 © Jason Florio

'Silafando' © Jason FlorioL-R: Lamin Sanneh – Alkalo’s messenger & farmer and Demba Sanneh – farmer, Genieri
The Gambia, West Africa, 2009 © Jason Florio

PDN - Photo District News  - Cover ShotAlkalo Messaneh Cham,The Gambia West Africa

Please see Florio’s website for the series of portraits:

Thanks for jumping on board!

The Florios (H & Flo)

Links: http://resourcemagonline.com/

http://www.pdnonline.com/index.shtml

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdnedu/Business-Smarts-A-L-679.shtml Crowd Funding – including our 2009 expedition

http://lucieawards.com/

http://nyph.at/