Corporate Photography in Libya
Last week I had a few days, courtesy of one of the big Private Security Companies, in and around Tripoli in Libya. This is not a commission to enter into lightly, but this company is very good; professional and capable, and they looked after me as well as have done for other similar commissions.
Libya is still a screwed-up country. It still has big problems with militias operating quite openly about the place, and the future remains very uncertain. Tripoli is literally riddled with bullet holes from recent conflict, and this adds to the air of menace.
My brief for the shoot was detailed in terms of what images were required (for marketing and specific web and magazine use), but the time-lines were flexible, for obvious reasons. This has been my forth attempt to get to Libya, the first two were thwarted by increased security concerns, so flexibility was key.
The company needed not only images of it’s own staff and training, but also some shots of the areas around Tripoli for client briefs etc. I had thought that would be really difficult, but actually, if you maintain a low profile and “shoot and scoot” it felt pretty safe. I was accompanied throughout by some of the team – professional and discrete – so this allowed me to concentrate on the shoot.
The place is actually really beautiful – the coast looks terrific, and as it is not so flat; really interesting. I also had a chance to visit the Commonwealth war-graves from WWII, and the place was immaculate. I know that there has been significant desecration of Christian grave-stones in Benghazi recently, and I hope this doesn’t happen in Tripoli, but it was a sea of calm amongst huge destruction.
I was also able to see Gaddafi’s destroyed complex; his balcony for proclamations over-looking Martyr Square; and the famous Marcus Aurelius arch.