The visual arts remain illusive, mysterious, and fascinating to me. I am now armed with my new camera and ready to learn. I’m reading Within the Frame: the journey of photographic vision by David duChemin and he talks about the vision of the artist. He also talks about the things that capture him. So I thought about the things that capture me about Djibouti.

  • Faces
  • Expressions of faith
  • traditional ways of life
  • the contrast of old and new (i.e. a donkey cart blocking a Land Cruiser)
  • scenes of daily life (i.e. women beating laxoox, the bread man, children going to school, construction workers)

You won’t see much incredible photography on Djibouti Jones, my reasons for taking pictures aren’t really for the art. My reasons for wanting to take photos is because I find the images beautiful, stunning even. I love the colors here, in contrast to the desert. I love the vibrancy of human life in contrast to the lack of agricultural life produced by the hard earth. I love the way the modern and the traditional interact and intersect. I love the seeking of God. I won’t be here forever and I want to remember it well.

I had this boy's eager permission.

I had this boy’s eager permission.

However, these things that capture me also seem to be the hardest for me to photograph because they feel invasive. And because I’m cowardly and timid.

How do you take pictures of strangers? I ask this on a very practical level.

On a more ethical level, what are some of the issues involved in taking photos of strangers?

Djiboutians, I especially would love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think of a foreign woman photographing your country and people? Is there a way to do it respectfully?