“The dance of conversation, the tango of human interaction, gesture, movement”

I recently got some fantastic feedback from an event that I covered for CGD Europe. The event’s key speaker was Dan Honig, author and Assistant Professor of International Development, Johns Hopkins SAIS:

These are wonderful photos of everyone.  As a former (much poorer) photographer of meetings, but one who perhaps? knows enough to judge, Will is really, really, really good, for what it’s worth (that room is very tricky with lighting/angles etc. I think). Dan Honig

Upon being made aware of these comments, I emailed Dan to thank him for his generous words, and he then replied with the below follow-up:

These are really, really excellent.  That’s true to my eye in a technical sense (composition, lighting, etc.). But what really sets them apart is your attention to the dance of conversation, the tango of human interaction, gesture, movement.   And while you have some ‘extreme’ shots (a moment of particular joy etc.), you focus in the main on shots … that feel to me authentic to the broader stretches of time they’re meant to represent.

Needless to say, I was over the moon! Below are the photographs in question.

NB: Dan was presenting his book on the efficacy of aid distribution, a topic that I have a personal interest in having once been a ‘gap yar’ volunteer in rural Tanzania with a brief to disseminate AIDS education (I was a 19-year-old fresh out of school – what were they thinking?!). Dan’s book is entitled Navigation by Judgement. In his own words: “Drawing on a novel database of over 14,000 discrete development projects across nine aid agencies and eight paired case studies of development projects, I conclude that aid agencies will often benefit from giving field agents the authority to use their own judgments to guide aid delivery.”

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