Beyond A Thousand Hills Production And Print Sale

After our successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year the Beyond A Thousand Hills team are excited to announce the production of our photography book. Our ambition for the book is to share a visual account of present day Rwanda as well as an exploratory lens into the country’s future potential.  As the chapters take shape I have the huge challenge of choosing and working with thousands of exciting photos.


We intimately explore contemporary Rwanda from land, water and air in order to celebrate the inspiring stories, developments and stunning landscapes across the country.


The book will be split into two sections: Rwanda Today: Celebrating the beauty and diversity of Rwanda, from stunning landscapes and charismatic wildlife to colourful street scenes. Rwanda Tomorrow: Celebrating the innovative people and pioneering projects that are building a bright and exciting future for the country.


We’ve also created a gallery of images for sale on the Beyond A Thousand Hills website and will be holding a print sale in Kigali this October.

framed-printDuring our next visit we’ll be documenting the official opening of Rwanda’s first international cricket stadium as well as trekking up north to photograph the newly opened Bisate Lodge.


With growing interest in the book and our wider project, we’ve had queries from a number of airlines who are keen to feature Beyond A Thousand Hills in their in-flight magazines. We’re currently piecing together some short photography essays. If you’re flying into East Africa later this year, you may well see us on-board!


For further information on the project, for print sales or to pre-order our upcoming book please contact

Beyond A Thousand Hills Photography Exhibition Opening Reception


We’re excited to be launching our unique photography exhibition on contemporary Rwanda at the Impact Hub Westminster on Monday 27th March.

Join us for the opening reception of Beyond A Thousand Hills from 6:30pm.

As we work on our book ‘Beyond A Thousand Hills’ the exhibition explores the unique approach to entrepreneurship and innovation in modern day Rwanda. We also look at other untold stories changing the face of the nation.

We’ll be heading back out to Rwanda to photograph and document some new and exciting innovations and projects in April.

Follow our progress here as well as on our Facebook page:

Please register for the event here

6:30pm: Welcome Drinks

7:30pm: Photographer’s Talk

8:30pm: Drinks & Exhibition

We hope to see you there!

A final sprint to Burundi!

The final sprint and the next steps in the Run Rwanda challenge. Follow us at as we start work on our exciting book.

It’s been 2 months since the team returned to London, and while time has been set aside to work on the legacy of the project, balancing work and other commitments with Run Rwanda has become a familiar challenge, and running through the beautiful dusty hills of Rwanda are beginning to feel like a distant memory.

While we have lots of updates on the Run Rwanda legacy, it’s important to document the completion on the run itself and the final 60km stretch from Kigali, down south to the Burundi border.

burundi John running south, in the direction of the Burundi border

Our pit stop in Kigali had been a whirlwind of media interviews and entrepreneur visits, and it felt great to be back out on the road again, pounding the hot tarmac. Running through the quiet suburbs of Kigali was ironically one of our most peaceful times on the run, as local…

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Through The Land Of 1000 Hills

It’s official…The Run Rwanda team have started another long journey. With 1000’s of images to work with we’re piecing together our intricate stories. With designer Tim Harris on board, in 2017 we’ll be publishing a unique and powerful visual journey through the land of 1000 hills.  From inspiring entrepreneurs to captivating landscapes, we’ll explore the untold stories creating one of Africa’s most exciting new destinations. Snippets from our book will appear here so please follow my blog over the next months! For more information on the project or information for partnership opportunities please contact me at We will also be welcoming any funding to help bring our project to life.


An Exciting Time For Rwanda


Using Running & Photography to tell a powerful story of social and economic progression in Rwanda.

This August, British endurance athlete John Gunn will attempt to run across the entire country of Rwanda. In official partnership with the African Entrepreneur Collective, and with myself @CapturedOnce Photography the team will spend one month running from the northern Ugandan border, across the ‘land of 1000 hills’ to the southern entry point into Burundi. During the run, we’ll be meeting and documenting the success stories of a collection of Rwanda’s most inspiring entrepreneurs.

About the African Entrepreneur Collective:

The African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) was founded in Rwanda in 2012, with the aim of partnering with young entrepreneurs to build their skills, expand their networks, and grow their businesses so that they may employ others. Since launch, the model has already helped to create over 1200 jobs.

With 200 million people aged 15 to 24, Africa has the youngest population in the world. And yet, 60% of all unemployed in Africa are youth. Rwanda exemplifies both the challenge and the opportunity facing youth. Roughly 70% of the population is under 35 years old, and the majority of the population works in subsistence farming. While private sector growth can create jobs for thousands of young people moving off farms each year, Rwanda’s private sector is currently dominated by small enterprises that employ just 1-2 people.

While young people are motivated to create their own jobs through entrepreneurship, they often lack the skills, networks, and capital needed to grow their businesses to the size where they can create jobs for others. AEC seeks to change that paradigm. Through capacity building, mentorship, advising, and access to affordable capital, AEC removes the barriers so that young people can lead the economic transformation of their countries.


The Objective of Run Rwanda is to use the power of running to intimately document Rwanda’s impressive and unexpected journey of economic and social progression since the tragedies of the early 1990’s. The run itself will take John 211 miles across a country that’s famous for its rolling hills and rainforest-coated mountains. He’ll run on average half a marathon a day in temperatures up to 30 Degrees Celsius, and the team will sleep and eat out in the wild.


The story of Run Rwanda will be told through the lens of the entrepreneurs who are leading and inspiring the country’s rapid development and transformation. This is where participatory photography methods will come in to play as the camera is passed to each individual to tell their story, document their business and share their passions.

Along the way, we will be meeting and spending time with local entrepreneurs across all 5 provinces of Rwanda. Visiting start-ups in tech, solar, manufacturing, eco-tourism, conservation and hospitality, John and the team will be exploring how these Rwandan pioneers are helping to create what’s frequently being described as the world’s first Entrepreneurial State.

We are hoping Run Rwanda will raise £10,000 for the African Entrepreneur Collective, helping them to offer continued support and guidance to local entrepreneurs.

Donations can be made at:

To find out more: @runrwandaScreen shot 2016-06-19 at 21.14.45

Follow Run Rwanda

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An endurance challenge –  running for positive social change

A photographic documentary – showcasing the modern face of an exciting nation

Thanks to all of those who have been following us in the build up to Run Rwanda this August. We are doing our final preparations before we head off on 29th July. Just to recap…

John Gunn will be taking on the challenge of running 211 miles across the land of 1000 hills. With myself as a photographer in tow, we’ll be showcasing Rwanda, capturing it’s beauty and creativity as we navigate a trail across the country.

We’re working in partnership with the African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC), a local business accelerator, and throughout our journey we’ll be meeting local entrepreneurs who will be sharing their own passions and inspiring stories.

Our photo book on Rwanda will tell the story of the positive economic development of the country and we believe that a narrative told through the lens of local entrepreneurs will be both accessible and inspiring.

Please donate to the AEC here and help make this an even more inspiring story, showcasing Africa’s exciting Entrepreneurial Nation.


Navigating a trail of positive social and economic change in Rwanda

Run Rwanda blank book

Please fill these pages on Kickstarter!

An endurance test – navigating and documenting a trail of positive social and economic change in Rwanda

What’s happening?

This August runner John Gunn will be attempting to run 211 miles across ‘the land of 1000 hills’. Working in partnership with the African Entrepreneur Collective  John will be creating a trail of stories from the north to the south of the country, visiting inspirational individuals with something to say. Travelling on foot will allow a hugely intimate experience of Rwanda and its people and each stop will focus on real life stories from a selection of Rwanda’s most inspiring local entrepreneurs.

Empowering individual stories?

My job is to collate the stories of these inspiring individuals, listening to their individual voices. As I document the journey, rather than keeping full photographic control myself,  I will also be passing creative control to the individuals I meet. Giving them the camera and allowing them to photograph and represent from their perspective and vision, their ideas, their businesses and the space in which they work.

For information on the initiative and to help fill the pages of this book, please back us on Kickstarter 

Information on the run can be seen on our Run Rwanda website.

Thank you!

Incandescent India

Illuminating light, insane visions, electrifying sounds, furious speeds and pervasive smells.

It was with great excitement and anticipation that I landed in India. Within minutes I realised this was quite unlike any place on Earth.  As the trip unfolded so did the landscape of my wondering mind.  There were both subtle and relentless differences between India and the kaleidoscope of my previous cultural experiences.  Few words can describe the juxtapositions each region presented.  Among a chaotic assault to the senses I witnessed a simple, peaceful beauty, an energy filled with elegance and colour, fuelling the photographic imagination.  Below I have shared some experiences of the above.


Udaipur – hidden gems

With soft light illuminating its traders, Updipur’s covered market is a refuge from the commotion outside its walls.


Varanasi – New Vishwanath Temple

A pilgrim from South India visits Varanasi.  She has just had her head shaved, sacrificing her hair at the temple.  Asking me to take a picture of her she sees her bald head for the first time.


Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort

A women is stationed to protect an internal section of the famous Mehrangarh fort.  Whilst on duty she frequently peers outside to liaise with the male guards in the court yard below.  Away from the tourists this calm image captures the informal communication between local staff.


Varanasi – rituals

At 5:30am young monks have just finished a session of yoga on the Ganges edge.  They follow their leader with a few minutes of laughing yoga before walking down to the water- candles in their palms.  This was a truly tranquil moment.


Bera – Jawai Sagar Dam

A family cross the dried up dam in Bera.  As they approach me I’m greeted with warm smiles.  The children however are perplexed by my presence.  This shot stands out from the usual images whereby excited children but cautions parents engage with the foreigners lens.


Rural Rajasthan

A typical scene in rural Rajasthan.  Orange turbans line the streets like glowing lanterns in the midday sun.  Backed by a bright yellow shop, three local men relax on a bench and watch the world go by.


Varanasi – Aarti ceremony

A young candle seller hops nimbly amongst the ever increasing flurry of wooden boats, each arriving to take a spot for the nightly Aarti ceremony.  Sold for pence, these floating candles are set alight and placed on the waters surface.  Each candle floats away carrying a wish made at it’s origin.


Varanasi – daily life

Local’s use the early mornings to wash and dry their clothing and materials.  Taking just minutes to dry fine fabrics, the warm concrete is a perfect heater.  For a short time before 6am, areas of the riverside are flooded with colour and patterns as local men and women get to work.


Rajasthan – the turban

The turban (pagari) is a key part of identity in Rajasthan, indicative of its wearer’s social class, caste, region and occasion.  They have also developed a multitude of uses.  Although protecting individuals from the harsh elements they can also be used as pillows, for draining muddy water and to draw water from a well.  This proud man wears his red Pagari.


Rajasthan – transport

It goes without saying that the various means of transport in India are a wonder for photographers, writers and travellers alike.  This image captures a traditional bus piled high with men on the roof and women inside.  The man in the centre of the roof and the woman in the window smile simultaneously.  A delightful moment and one which celebrates the uniqueness of life in India.

For more images please see my website at 

Captured Once Website

The Captured Once website has landed! Please check it out and and let me know if you have any feedback. As well as portfolios of my favourite images from around the world, it contains a new section of Participatory Photography. Putting my existing skills to use and drawing on the acclaimed training of Photo Voice, I’m facilitating sessions where the camera is used both as a therapeutic tool and to create positive social change. If you know anyone who may be interested please do get in touch.

Share, comment and like, but most of all enjoy the images and I hope they make you smile!

Visit my website at Captured Once

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