Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Two weeks ago I had the privilege of traveling to Morocco with my camera. Though I wasn't there specifically to shoot photos, I managed to find time to go out and make pictures most afternoons. This was my first time overseas, and I found it much more challenging to shoot than I expected. Its very hard to blend in and capture daily life in North Africa when you are the only 6' 3" white dude for miles around. I learned some conversational Arabic and was able to introduce myself, and ask my subjects if I could photograph them. I was surprised how much of a difference it made to speak in arabic when approaching subjects, and more often than not, I found Moroccans to be enthusiastic about having their photo taken. I hope these pictures are a little slice of what life is like in Morocco. Thanks for looking!
One of the famous Aguadors (water men) of Marrakech. These guys carry camel skin bladders of cold water on their back and give drinks to Morrocans from shiny brass cups.

Fes dancers of Marrakech:
Men take a brake between games of Moroccan Checkers outside the walls of the old Medina in Casablanca:
Figs, Dates, Apricots, and more in Djama el Fnar Square in Marrakech.
The melon man of Casablanca. I was blown away by the warmth of this man, and despite the language barrier, felt a strong connection with him. He insisted upon giving me one of his watermelons after I took his picture. The next day I printed off a few 5x7's from a Kodak machine and brought some pictures back for him and his fellow melon farmers. They were so excited to see the photos, that they kissed me on each cheek and gave me another watermelon! Easily my favorite part of the trip, hands down.
Outside the old Medina walls in Casablanca.
Al Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca:

Mid-morning laundry.
A street vendor gets an early start to the days work, taking advantage of the empty streets at sunrise, before they're filled with Taxis and Casablanca's infamous rush hour traffic.
Sunrise over France at 20,000 feet, seen from the window of an Air France Boeing 777.
The Storks of Marrakech, Morocco:
Outside a rooftop cafe in Marrakech:
More laundry.
Another highlight of my trip was taking the train through the desert from Casablanca to Marrakech. The Moroccan railroad (ONCF) has virtually no safety standards onboard their passenger trains, so I happily spent most of the trip hanging off the doorway railing, dodging catenary poles and watching the Moroccan desert pass by.
One of my fondest memories was sitting cross-legged in the vestibule, swaying back and forth with the movement of the train, hearing the trademark "clickety clack" of the rails, and feeling the desert wind whip through my hair at 80mph.
"From the hip"
A hot noonday at Voyageur Station in Casablanca:
If you're still reading this, thanks! What do you think I could improve upon if I ever make it back to Morocco?


Joy Lewis said...

i heart you luke, these are wonderful

Daniel said...

WOW WOW WOW, Fes dancers of Marrakech= Awesome. Sunrise over france is gorgeous. I want a print.

Betsy Wilson said...

Lovely Luke! I love them all and expect to hear more about your trip in the fall.

Marc & Amy said...

WOW Luke! These are awesome shots. I loved looking at them & sounds like you had a good trip! We were praying for you guys. -Amy Corbett

Christopher Fryer said...

nice work man

Tyler said...

Amazing pictures, that's all I have to say...

MARV said...

shoot more from the hip! those are the best.

Anonymous said...

I found this post somewhat randomly through a friend; I'm actually a student/photographer studying abroad in Morocco (Rabat) till December. It's nice to see Morocco from a different point of view, amazing shots; the emotion and hospitality is captured well. Very inspiring, thanks!

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