About Marj

I was born in Port Arthur in 1965 and became interested in photography when I was eleven years old. My father Charlie, taught me about light, composition and design stressing the importance of getting the best image possible on initial exposure. The rest of the work I learned would need to be done in the darkroom; with my father’s guidance, encouragement and dedication.

In the mid-1980’s I continued my studies at the Confederation College where I took applied photography for 2 years. With improved photographic skills I began making photo essays abroad. The first of these projects began in 1985 on the Bolivian Andes. I was privileged to be allowed into what is notoriously known as the very private and closed community of the Aymara people. For two years I lived and worked with the family documenting their traditional way of life while they supported themselves cultivating the land and raising sheep on their subsistence farm.

From Bolivia I moved to London, England where I lived for 15 years, taking time out to develop my photo essays in Ghana, Bolivia and The Gambia. While in the UK I had photographic commissions from Care, Help the Aged, Save the Children, Oxfam, Drum Magazine and Greenpeace. I did the photographs for the Oxfam book entitled ‘Bolivia’ in 2001 and that same year had a series of images included in ‘Photojournalism’ a book published by Rotovision. In 2003 I won the title ‘Travel Photographer of the Year’ from Travel Photography Magazine. My work has appeared in ‘New Internationalist’, ‘The Royal Photographic Society’, ‘Black and White Photography’ (UK), ‘Travel Photography’ and ‘The British Journal of Photography’ magazines.

While in England I exhibited in The National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Photographic Society, National Geographic Society UK, Oxford House and Gallery 1885. I was short listed twice for both The Royal Photographic Society Annual Print Competition and the British Journal of Photography’s ‘Artist Assistant award’ and once for the ‘Jon Kobal Awards’.

Other photo essays that I worked on includes artists, musicians, drum makers, Rastafarians and farmers in Ghana, musicians and farmers in Bolivia, multi-cultural London and Bumpsters in The Gambia.

I feel it is important to take time when working on a project. For that reason I have spent more than a decade on two projects. With time I am able to gain a deeper understanding of the people, time and place. My aim when shooting is to capture in images a series that accurately depicts a people and their way of life.

Currently I am working on a number of photographic projects including 2 photo based books that will combine background information, stories, captions and quotes with images. The first of these books will be on my Ghanaian series which I started in 1993 and the 2nd on my 24 year old Bolivian project about my ‘adopted’ family the Mamani’s.