Gallery Show: Natural Playground

My image of Kristen Ulmer, extreme skier and co-founder of the Ski To Live program, was juried into the “Natural Playground” show, juried by Corey Rich and Justin Gural at the Darkroom Gallery in Vermont.  Details can be found here.

This image was first published in Sports Illustrated For Women.


Ethiopia: Maternal Mortality

I took my first trip to Africa and Madagascar when my three children were in preschool. I set off to bring back images so they could see how children live in developing countries.

Fast forward fifteen years, and this time next week I will be working with the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia to document the work they do to heal and also prevent a devastating maternal condition that occurs due to prolonged labor.

Had I been born an Ethiopian woman living in a rural area, chances are strong that I would have died during the birth of my first child. Ben was too large to fit through my pelvis, and I had an emergency C-section to halt his distress and enable me to give birth to him.

When I look at my three grown children, Ben, Aaron and Brynn, the love I feel overflows into an insatiable desire to help these suffering mothers in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia: Hamlin College of Midwives

Join me as I travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet some of the world’s bravest women as they support each other by reducing infant and maternal mortality and the occurrence of the physically and emotionally devastating condition of fistula.

It is a great honor to be asked to visit the Hamlin College of Midwives to capture the essence of their 2011 graduation ceremony. On October 15, 2011, the Hamlin Fistula College of Midwives will graduate a second class of trained midwives. After the ceremony, these newly trained women will return to their rural villages to care for new mothers and assist extremely difficult deliveries.

Every day, 1,000 women and 8,000 babies die due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth. And for each maternal death, at least 20 additional women suffer devastating injuries related to their simple desire to produce a family to help work the fields to sustain their food source.  These World Health Organization statistics are sobering, especially when contrasted with the kind of care that is received elsewhere in the world.

The Hamlin College of Midwives is responding to this crisis by training local rural women much needed midwifery skills and supporting them as they set up services in their rural home villages.

Come along as we celebrate these midwives and the mothers of Ethiopia!  I will be documenting this momentous occasion, as well as other aspects of the beautiful and innovative Ethiopian culture. I will also be writing guest blog entries on Phil Borges’ Stirring the Fire website.

We are hoping that a collective cheer from around the world will be heard as these Ethiopian women extend one of the most loving gestures to one another: helping a mother deliver the life that grew inside of her.

Each midwife has been able to be trained without having to pay fees, which they could never afford. Your help is critical in making this possible. Donations for the midwife college are being accepted now at the Hamlin Fistula USA website.

For Dr. Catherine Hamlin’s story, read about her book here.

Halloween + One Old Soul Boy

I watch preparations for Halloween on the streets. My nine-year-old friend who passed away this year seemed to be able to parse out his mind from logic and the overlay of structure…and help us all believe, really believe, in dragons and spirits and totems and the mish-mash of spirits that help us along. Perhaps he did know something we can’t understand.  Perhaps he did tap into something “out there” beyond our mind’s capabilities or willingness to grasp.

I think he knew that he would live far beyond what anyone could imagine. Gage is right here: magical, deliberate, thoughtful, balanced and oh-so wry.

Street Portraits: Josiah

I have been getting back out on the streets to find random subjects that I want to photograph.

It’s all in the eyes.

I spotted Josiah as he skated by on his skateboard, going everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  He now floats in my mind like Walter Chappell and others; they are whispers..not quite in focus, but in my memory, and so alive.

Reminds me of the beauty of ancestors.

ASMP Best Of 2011

My work documenting emergency obstetrics in rural Ethiopia was chosen to be in the American Society of Media Photographers “Best of 2011” project list.  I am hoping that this will bring about increased understanding of the difficulties surrounding maternal health that are present in rural settings.  The Ethiopian government is actively developing solutions to address these problems as quickly as they can, with minimal resources.

Here is an interview that details this project and others that I am working on, plus some of my philosophies and business practices.

Workshops: Jock Sturges + Shelby Lee Adams

I was able to facilitate the arrival of Shelby Lee Adams and Jock Sturges into Portland to teach workshops at Newspace Center For Photography.  Both of them are masterful teachers.  They have an ability to not only teach photography skills and subject engagement, but each brought lessons in life itself.

My path has been altered greatly by each of them.


Copyright 2018 Joni Kabana. All rights reserved. Site by TD