At home with strangers
Julian Claxton immersed himself in village activities to capture the essence of everyday life in rural Uganda
One of my earliest photography memories was a visit to a zoo. I was nine years old, and I can vividly remember holding a 35mm camera in my hands as I walked around, taking pictures of the animals. A couple of years later a photographer visited my school and helped us to produce a school newspaper – one frontpage picture later, I was hooked!
Those pivotal moments started my love affair with photography, and when I left college I became a medical photographer. Eight years ago I moved on to pursue my dream of becoming a freelance, and things are going well. It’s never easy, but it’s enabled me to enjoy some amazing experiences, and I love what I do.
My travel photography is more of a passion than a moneymaking exercise, although, that said, my images have appeared in several magazines and have been shortlisted for awards, which has helped to fund my adventures. I’ve travelled through much of East Africa, and one of the countries that has made a lasting impression on me is Uganda; the scenery is sublime, and the people are welcoming and fascinating.
A look at life
Last year I returned to the south-west of the country, with the aim of creating a body of work that documented rural life. I didn’t want the images to depict poverty, but I did want to capture the human element: the culture of the people and, above all else, their dignity. I spent days walking between hilltop communities, eating and drinking with the locals
01 Ch ildren of Eden Schoo l Nikon D700, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/640 sec, f/4, ISO200