Jason Florio is a NYC, Malta, and West Africa based photographer and writer from London. For the past 15 years, he has worked as a freelance photojournalist around the globe for publications including The New Yorker, New York Times, Outside, Newsweek, Virginia Quarterly Review, Men’s Journal, and Sunday Times Travel. At the beginning of his career he had gained recognition after being one of the last photographers in Afghanistan to photograph the anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Massoud in August 2001, who was assassinated by Al Qaeda operatives on September 9th, then to be at the foot of the World Trade Center on September 11th as it collapsed.
Along with his wife, photography producer and writer, Helen Jones-Florio, he spent the last three months of 2009 making a 930 km expedition by foot of The Gambia, West Africa to produce a series of portraits of African chiefs for which in part he was given fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in London. The resulting body of work from the journey, titled ‘Silafando: A Gift to You on Behalf of my Journey’ won Florio The International Photography Awards – People Photographer of the Year 2010. The Gambia has been a place Florio regularly returns to. For the past fourteen years he has made yearly trips there to work on a long-term project of the people living in and around a sacred forest called Makasutu. The culminating body of work was shown in New York in 2009 in a solo exhibition and the work won a Black and White magazine Spotlight Award, as well as garnering him a nomination for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography. Part of the Makasutu series was acquired by the Haggerty Museum of Art.
Jason was awarded the ‘Joy of Giving Something’ grant in 2004 to produce the first ever assigned story for Aperture in their 50-year history, called ‘This is Libya’, which is now part of the permanent collection of The Forward Thinking Museum. His work on Afghanistan is in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, as well as a number of private collections.
November 2012-January 2013 – Successfully completed the ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘ – along with his wife, producer Helen Jones-Florio, they followed the 1044km course of the River Gambia, by canoe and local transport along one of Africa’s last free-flowing major rivers, from Guinea-Conakry to the Gambia, West Africa, creating a document of the people and cultures along the river’s length. The resulting body of work is ‘River Gambia‘.
In 2014 Jason, and Helen, sponsored by the US Embassy, Banjul, worked on a series of photography workshops, in The Gambia, West Africa: ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language
April 2015-December 2016: Jason has been working with MOAS – Migrant Offshore Aid Station – on board the Phoenix boat, in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Libya, documenting the rescue of thousands of migrants and refugees. He has since traveled to Myanmar and Bangladesh, on a fact-finding mission, about the plight of the Rohingya refugees, and recently came back from Turkey, on another mission to document the refugees in Turkey, who hope to cross the Aegean into Greece.
Jan-March 2017: The Gambia, West Africa, documenting the political transition, from a 22 dictorship to the new democratic government.
Currently: April-May 2017: In Malta, working on a new website, personal projects, and soon returning to West Africa to document migration issues
2014 ASME nomination – Feature Photography/VQR ‘Life on the River Gambia’
2014 SND (Society of News Design) – Award of Excellence /’Mogadish Portraits’
2013 SPD Awards – via Trunk Magazine – Silver Medal for Distinctive Achievement (Travel)
2013 Virginia Quarterly Review – Prize for Photography
2012 International Photography Award – Honorable Mention ‘Professional’
2012 Portrait Salon – 2012 Selections
2012 Px3 Silver Medal – Portraiture/Culture category
2012 Black & White Spider Awards – ‘Distinction of Honor’ – Winner ‘Portrait’ category
2011 Px3 Gold Medal – Photojournalism – War
2011 Px3 Bronze Medal People’s Choice Award
2011 One Life International Photography Awards – Winner ‘People’
2010 International Photography Awards – over all winner ‘People’ category
2010 International Photography Awards – 1st place ‘People : Culture’ category
2010 Forward Thinking Museum – winner of the 2nd Quarter Photography Contest
2010 NY Photo Festival, Honorary Mention – fine art/personal series
2010 PDN Faces – Finalist
2010 CDS/Daylight Awards, Honorary Mention – Project Prize
2009 Center, Review Santa Fe – Nominee
2009 Black and White magazine – Spot Light Award
2009 PDN – Finalist – Travel Portrait
2013 ‘Arts and Cultural Grant’ – US Embassy
2004 ‘Joy of Giving Something’ – Aperture Grant
Permanent collection of the Huai’an Museum of Art, China
Permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY
Permanent collection of Forward Thinking Museum, NY
Permanent collection of The Haggerty Museum, Milwaukee, USA
To check out more, please visit floriophoto.com/bio