V4 IS GO!!

It’s been a while coming, but I am pleased to say that V4 is officially go!

Thanks for being patient, as personal circumstances led to the delay of this much awaited project.


This trip is a lot shorter than my regular projects, this is down to a few factors, but chiefly it is because I am busy planning the project for 2020 and have a couple of important meetings with community and local government leaders. I’ve tried to conduct these meetings over skype & FB, but to be honest, as I’m running the project again in Uganda, it seemed the ideal time to divert to Rwanda for a day or two to sort issues and actually put a plan of action in place.

So, the big news is that I am working with a small group of previous students who have excelled at photography in the past and are very interested in progressing their learning.
Two of the students are based in rural Uganda, while the other two (still awaiting confirmation that they will be available!) will be based around the border at Katuna.

The two that are confirmed and I have spoken to are Brea & Godwin.
Godwin, is a young orphaned boy, who lives on the hillside with his sister and several other children who have been taken in by a generous local lady.

In 2015 Godwin completed the project with me and took some interesting shots of his life.
Lately, he has been struggling at school – he attends Eden community school, but is struggling with the academic side of learning and although he is dedicated (regularly attends) he has fallen a little short on some of the exams, so is having to repeat.

9 Godwin, pictured here in 2015.

In 2016 I also worked with him, and have stayed in touch, he has been using the equipment at the school occasionally

and has apparently continued to take an interest in that.

Alongside his normal learning at school, I am hoping that the visual learning of photography may inspire him and continue to develop his photographic eye.

The other young student is Brea, again I met him in 2015 (he was the star of the morning chapel video I shot) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJcw_z5vyZ4&t=3s)  and in 2016 I actually worked with him in the village, teaching him how to use a camera and how to shoot images.
At the end of the 3-week project he came back with one of the finest images any of my students have ever shot. I knew this wasn’t a one off either, as he had shot other images that were equally as impressive.

So… what’s the plan….

First off, we will spend a day going over the cameras and the basic principles again. I have little doubt these kids will remember, after all they have continued to use some of the equipment in the school.

I will then set them several objectives, working closely with them throughout. The aim is that they become proficient in the use of the equipment and ultimately take control of a SLR camera, understanding a little about advanced equipment.

We will look at portrait, landscape and street photography and they will also have the opportunity to use the Lomography Instant cameras that I have recently purchased.

With so much of the photography process now digital (yes, even in Western Uganda I now can’t get film developed! – which is such a shame!) I am keen for the children to enhance their experience by receiving instant prints from these marvelous little cameras. This will be alongside the more structured learning of ‘proper’ photography.

 By the end of the project, I really hope these children can demonstrate a greater learning, greater ability and continue to show the passion for photography that they currently have – I want them to understand that Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
If this all works out, the plan is to support these two children in their future arts/photography learning and progression. I would love for one or both of them to really see this as a viable career choice – (of which there are opportunities in the Uganda, especially in larger towns and cities)

Published by Julian Claxton

My passion for photography is supported by experiences gained on exciting travel adventures and through working for fantastic photographers. In 2006, I made the exciting step of realising my dream of becoming a freelance photographer. Since this pivotal moment, I have held numerous exhibitions, been featured nationally & internationally in print and won numerous awards, including being a finalist in the National Geographic Photographic competition in 2013 with one of my documentary images from the Sudan. From an early age I began to enjoy taking pictures of my daily life, basking in the thrill of sending the film to the printers and eagerly awaiting the pocket sized prints. My first foray into the world developing and printing strangely began at school when I was asked to produce a descriptive photo for the school newspaper. A front page shot later and I was destined to start the long arduous journey of becoming a photographer. In between exciting travel adventures and working for fantastic photographers, I graduated from college and at a crossroads in my journey to becoming a pro photographer, I embarked on a career working as a medical photographer. Learning new skills and dabbling in video production as well as progressing design skills, I yearned for the challenge and freedom of becoming a freelance. I have been fortunate enough to work on some amazing assignments which have included shooting a documentary assignment with an air ambulance, gaining full access to a British Pro cycling team during an international UCI tour, cycling to Rwanda and creating a photographic documentary of my journey. The experiences continue to grow, meeting wonderful people to photograph and telling the story of their journey. The list of events and striking moments that have played out through my viewfinder continue to grow and provide me with ever increasing snapshots of life to capture. One of the highlights of my career thus far has been staying in rural Uganda, teaching photography to the kids from the region, in a project I set up in late 2014, entitled ‘Give a child a camera’. The basis of the project is to supply 35mm cameras and film to the rural schools in this region of East Africa, teaching the children how to shoot photographs. After a week of taking photos of their life, an exhibition is held at the school and the children leave with their very own album, camera and film. One of the images I shot at Eden school in rural Uganda, during morning chapel won the 2015 Travel Media Tourism and Photography award. A great honour and one that I wouldn’t have picked up had it not been for the wonderful children of East Africa. For further information please visit www.julianclaxtonphotography.com

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