Photography has the amazing power to show a slice of life in virtually any corner of the globe, and I find projects harnessing this to be amazing. Joining my growing list of favorites of such works is a two-part series of Senegal street portraits by Berlin-based commercial, editorial, and art photographer Anthony Kurtz.
According to Anthony, he came up with the project while doing volunteer work in Senegal in the summer of 2011. He also planned to do some personal projects while he was location, one of which ended up to be a series of street portraits taken around Senegal. “When I wasn’t needed, I photographed people in the village of Dindefelo (south of Senegal) where we were volunteering for three weeks. After ‘work’ was over, I headed to Dakar to do more ‘strobist’ style, street photography and worked on different personal projects.”
As with photographers like August Udoh, Giacomo Bruno, and Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson, Anthony elevated his subjects with this portrait project. They may be ordinary people set against the grittiness of their “natural habitat” but they’re given a lot of cinematic documentary treatment with “strobist” style portraiture. I like how each photo is done in a very tasteful and artsy style, and shows the different slices of life in Anthony’s chosen villages. We get to see work, play, street scenes, and people of all ages in both sets, and I think he has done a great job introducing us to Dindefelo and Dakar through this project.
Being a street portrait project, much of it relied on getting subjects to pose for Anthony, and I can imagine it was fairly challenging for him. “It is sometimes hard to convince people that your are taking these pictures because of your love for people and places with, what I define as, true character,” he said. “I’m very glad I didn’t give up and I want to thank those who agreed to let me photograph them.”