This Week At Angama #42

23 November 2018 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 3 MINUTES

The more time you spend in the Mara and the deeper you dive in, the more you discover that this remarkable corner of Africa has many faces

In a drive to constantly upskill our photographic team at Angama and to take the Photographic Studio to new heights, we invited in portrait and fashion photographer Tim Hulme to lead a week long advanced editing and photography workshop. He may not be a wildlife photographer, but we wanted to see how fresh eyes would approach photography in the Maasai Mara.

Never afraid to break with tradition we dedicate the whole of This Week At Angama to Tim’s impromptu photographs of a very intimate Maasai Initiation Celebration. Like any guest at Angama, Tim was entranced by the landscape, the view and the wildlife, but he left a few days ago having fallen in love with the people. Through Tim’s own words and imagery, we let him express the Faces of the Mara…

I went to Angama, like many before me, wanting to photograph the wildlife. My usual day to day work often entails being indoors, photographing beautiful models in light controlled studios. It was a breath of fresh air to get out of my comfort zone and into the huge wilderness of Kenya. My first visit to the Maasai Mara.

On our very first day, literally 45 minutes after our arrival, Adam invited my wife and I to a traditional coming of age ceremony in the local village. On the back end of 10 hours of travel from Johannesburg, I might normally be tempted to put my feet up and enjoy the view (and what a view it is), but this was not an opportunity to be missed. We dropped our bags off, grabbed the cameras and a couple of lenses, and jumped into one of the lodge vehicles. We had no idea what to expect and set off with some trepidation.

A visual kaleidoscope of colour, dancing, community, joy, celebration, and of course jumping greeted us. It was like we had peeled back the face that the Maasai put forward for tourists. This was not staged for us, we were witnessing a ceremony that dates from a time well before traditional cultures were commercialized.

The entire community had gathered, mostly in full traditional attire, but there were a lot of western t-shirts (made in the east no doubt) and sneakers thrown into the mix.

It was an explosion of energy and dust. The music was played off a modern electric keyboard, through a DJ’s speakers, but the beat felt ancient with chanting and repetitive drums. We were swept up, and couldn’t help dancing while trying to capture the mood in photographs.

It was beautiful!

coming of age ceremony

The men seated for the ceremony

Maasai Woman 1

Maasai Woman 2

Maasai Elder 2

Hands closeup

Ceremony in progress

Maasai Woman 3

Maasai Woman 4

Maasai Woman 5

Maasai Woman 6

Small child at the maasai ceremony

Child at the maasai ceremony

“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”
— Annie Leibovitz

AUTHOR: Adam Bannister

A South African-trained biologist, safari guide, author, filmmaker and photographer, Adam is, above all else, a gifted storyteller. After spending the past 10 years working in some of the world’s most beautiful wild places – the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, Rajasthan in India, Brazil’s Pantanal, and the rainforests of Manu National Park in Peru – he is delighted to share his stories of one of the loveliest game reserves of them all, the Maasai Mara.

Solomon Ngari
November 29, 2018

Great images and stories from the Angama team! Fantastic.

    Nicky Fitzgerald
    November 29, 2018

    Thank you Solomon – delighted you enjoy reading our weekly stories

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