I visited Ghana for five days in Fall 2017. It was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. I spent my days at an orphanage learning about child slavery, visiting native tribal villages, but most importantly visiting the Cape Coast. Cape Coast is home to the slave castles, where Ghanian men, women and children would be held by their captors until ships would bring them to the Americas and the Caribbean. Being from Charleston, South Carolina slavery has always been a devastating, but important part of my city’s history and culture. For me this felt like coming full circle and to have witnessed it has really opened my mind.
Ghana was an amazing chance to get to work on my photography because it was so colorful in the city, but it was always so grey in the sky. It rained every day that we were there, so I was able to take advantage of shooting with more color contrast. I was also excited because I was able to photograph a lot of kids, which definitely comes with its challenges. Many kids were so excited because they’d never seen photos of themselves before and they kept jumping up to touch the cameras and begging to have their photos taken. This challenged me as a photographer because I’d never felt the struggle from being present in the moment vs. wanting to get the perfect shot. This experience definitely showed me that there is a balance and sometimes its worth it to just put the camera away and not waste an experience for the sake of a shot.
Check out some of my favorite photos from the week below!
First image taken by Meaghan Mackey.