2016: A Retrospective

As the title suggests, I’m here to talk about the year that was 2016. What a wild ride that was, huh? As a lot of us know, it’s been a hard time for the world on a whole; politics, the environment, the world of entertainment. A lot of things seemed to be topsy turvy, but thankfully my 2016 was actually quite good.

Marginally related photo!

Quite a few things happened for me this year. A few people might know this, but I work in the Photography Department at the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts (“the only one of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean!” as we’re so often reminded). Through working there with students and lecturers alike of various artistic backgrounds, I can definitely say I’ve learned quite a bit.

A key person I’m happy to have met is legendary Jamaican photographer Donnette Zacca, who had been head of the department for decades. Watching her teach, seeing how she interacts with students and staff alike, and getting the chance to dissect her work is something I’ll always be grateful for. She has since retired from the college to teach privately, and my only regret is that I never did a portrait session with her. She’s a powerful, energetic woman, and I would’ve loved to photograph her in the department she spent decades building.

Decidedly not Zacca. Pierre Lemaire, Director of the School of Drama at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. A photo I took while assisting a student with portrait lighting.

Working at the college helped me to look at my own work from a new perspective, and informed how I approach it moving forward. In addition to this, as of this past September I’ve been a lecturer as a part of the college’s School of Continuing Education (teaching photography, of course). Those who know me  well know that I have a passion for teaching photography, and I can confidently say that my first semester was a success, and I’m proud of my students.

Even fewer people may know this, but on top of all of this, I also started working as a freelance photojournalist for The Gleaner Company (yes, that’s the newspaper I’ve referred to in previous posts). I was trained in photojournalism while studying in University, and it’s been quite the experience! I’ve met many people, and I do believe working with them had helped to strengthen my skills. I even got a photo on the cover, once! While not a ‘breathtaking’ image, in journalism, timeliness is key; it was taken at the Jamaican premiere of I Am Bolt

This… this is a terrible scan from my cellphone.

Not the exact photo (which is strangely missing). Usain Bolt and his lovely mum.

“Darien, this post is long. SHOW ME SOME PHOTOS

We’re getting to that!

A few other things happened last year that made me feel pretty good as a businessman; getting inquiries from international clients! It might not seem like much, but it means I’m doing something right.

One of the highlights of that particular experience was working on a two-day production for Tommy Hilfiger(!) as a camera assist, working with an amazing team from the Netherlands, but that’s an entire blog post on its own, which is definitely coming soon.

A great team!

A random shot of a model!

A lot of 2016 was about growth, not just as a photographer, but as an entrepreneur, for which I have to thank Format for those guides they’ve been releasing! You can find them here.

Now, I can’t possibly go through every image I’ve shot this past year, but I will put just a few of my favourites below. 

Using Format