Omo Valley – Ethiopia

The Omo series is a collection of images show casing the beauty and diversity of some of the exquisite tribal groups residing in the Upper and Lower Omo valley of Ethiopia. My journey into the Upper Omo took 3 days drive from Addis Ababa to an isolated expanse near South Sudan. A few days in and we had a significant setback resulting in my guide and I abandoning our vehicle with everything in it, I eventually got my equipment back 6 days later. Due to the torrential rain we got stuck in deep mud and had to walk 8hrs before we found help. We were walking in wild bush the black cotton soil had turned into thick sticky mud and we were in dangerous militia territory surrounded by wildlife with zero protection and no phone signal. It was a matter of survival for 6 days. I’m grateful for getting through the ordeal physically unharmed. It was only when I was safely home in Nairobi editing that I realised some of these photos are the best portraits I’ve taken. Being immersed fully within the story I was able to capture images of the Omo tribes that I believe are genuinely authentic in their portrayal of the communities I had the privilege of photographing. Shooting is only a part of it, it takes time, effort and risk to get to these far flung places with no guarantee you will get the shots. It’s certainly not as glamorous as people imagine.