A picture paints a thousand words

Behind the scenes of our favourite photos with the man who took them!  

Back to all stories | Posted on 16 Aug 2019 in Blog

Many of the most beautiful photographs that capture the stories at the heart of Mary’s Meals were taken by our friend Chris Watt. To mark World Photo Day, we asked him to share his favourites and tell some of the tales behind them.  

Pictured are three Kenyan ladies who have been collecting water from the local well. I am always impressed by the women carrying the buckets and barrels of water. These can be very big and heavy and have to be transported on their heads over long distances through uneven terrain. 

This is a portrait of one of the local volunteers that make the efforts of Mary’s Meals possible. She is collecting maize to prepare porridge for the children. I can remember being in the storeroom. It felt like an oven and it is was difficult to take the picture with the sweat running into my eyes! 

I was actually photographing another person when this group of cheeky boys kept following me and doing these poses. At one point, I decided to quickly turn my camera on them and take their picture. This caused no end of hilarity for all of us. 

This is a portrait of a family in Turkana, northern Kenya. In among the desert and heat, the colours of their clothes really caught my eye. To reach this location we had travelled for many hours – over sand dunes, up riverbeds, and at one point I thought I was going to lose my fillings on the bumpy tracks!   

I was really taken by the determination this boy had not to let his disability stop him from learning. It didn’t stop him in any way in class, in the playground or indeed working his small plot of land with basic farm tools. After I had taken this picture we went to his home where he showed me how he worked the land to grow his crops. 

New Delhi is where this image was taken. It was part of the celebrations for Mary’s Meals serving one billion school meals! This image was taken from the roof of the school just after the pupils had posed for a big group picture. The movement of the other children was to reflect the busy, sometimes chaotic world that is New Delhi. 

Eldoret, Kenya. One of the kitchen volunteers had such an infectious giggle. I couldn’t help but try to brave the steam and heat coming from the huge pots of porridge. I can remember taking this picture and her laughing at me as I squeezed in between the pots with the steam billowing all around. 

This pupil and I were playing a game of peek-a-boo and it caused much hilarity in the class.   

This was a trip to Liberia where Scottish actor and Hollywood star Gerard Butler was shown the work that Mary’s Meals does in the country. Talking to him during the trip he was so impressed with staff, volunteers and pupils. Here Gerard is pictured calling to have a canoe sent over from an isolated village, which has no access apart from coming over by canoe. He seemed to get into the spirit of calling at the top of his voice. All of us – including cameras, tripods and all other equipment – had to be transported this way. 

This was the last day of our time in Liberia with Mary’s Meals’ founder Magnus and Gerard Butler, and it seemed fitting as we were packing up that this glorious sunset appeared through the clouds. This had been our camp for the duration of the trip and where, on one occasion, Gerard released a rooster into the wild after being given it by a village elder.   

www.chriswatt.com