In the summer of 2011, I volunteered with an organization in the U.S that sends high-school kids to Senegal to do community work, in the hopes of making a difference and experiencing something out of the norm.
I planned on doing a lot of personal work while on location. 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.
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. I'm very glad I didn't give up and I want to thank those who agreed to let me photograph them. I made sure people in Dindefelo received copies of their portraits and I hope they enjoy looking at them. I also made a few friends in Dakar that I'm still in touch with.
Most of these photographs were taken with one or two Canon Speedlights 580ex2, a westcott softbox and a small lightstand and some pocketwizards TT1/5. Some photos were shot with an Einstein 640 and the Vagabond Mini but the Einstein broke down on the first two weeks in Dindefelo so I had to resort to small flashes which limited me a little in terms of power. Then there are a few photos that I shot with natural light when I wasn't carrying equipment around.
All images © ANTHONY KURTZ