What’s that saying about a picture painting a thousand words? It could be the mantra for Gaia Visual, which specialises in the visual telling of positive stories about the environment and society, using photography and visual storytelling.
Named after the Greek goddess of the earth, Gaia Visual is run by Jonathan Perugia, who has worked for 30 years as a documentary, travel and commercial photographer, and has a passion for telling stories about change makers.
The Gaia Visual portfolio is abound with them. From Indonesia and Myanmar, to Cuba and Sri Lanka , Jonathan has travelled the world capturing inspiring, emotive and arresting images across a broad range of subjects including disaster relief, marine conservation and sustainable farming, for organisations including the UN, the World Health Organisation, and the Guardian.
Most recently, he’s been working in less exotic climes, creating a documentary photography project for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) on renewable energy in the Humber region of the UK . A key focus for the IISD is ‘just transition’ – how do we make the essential and urgent transition from fossil fuels to renewables, and take care of the people affected by that change?
The Humber region of the UK is in the midst of a profound shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and this photo story is about some of the people who are part of that transition. You can see an audiovisual presentation of the work here.
“This is one of my favourite kinds of commission: working with a local writer, rootling around an area, getting to know its people and stories,” Jonathan says. “The keys to making a project like this work are: very thorough preparation, creating connections with people very quickly, and lovely long shoot days.”
He has told other stories close to home too. His work for SALT magazine, a magazine by and for change agents committed to finding solutions to the world’s challenges, includes the story of Corrine Hutton, an amazing woman who had to have both her hands and feet amputated, lost her marriage and not only re-learned all the basics of life, but set up a charity called Finding Your Feet, to support other amputees. She has walked marathons and climbed Ben Nevis to raise money and awareness for the cause.
You can see that work here.
Every year for the past three years, Jonathan has attended the Global Good Awards ceremony taking pictures of the winners and the event itself. “It’s a real privilege to be a part of the event, to share in the excitement and energy as inspiring people are rewarded and acclaimed for their work”.
If you’d like Gaia to get involved in telling your sustainability story, you can contact Jonathan directly here.