This COVID Frontline Nurse Captures the Lives of Remote African Tribes

Cohan Zarnoch has spent the last 12 years traveling with non-profit organizations and photographing remote African tribes. Based in Colorado, Zarnoch is also a surgical nurse, who has spent the majority of the past year at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s a 54-year-old mother of four and has spent years photographing her own children as well. She never thought she could pursue the hobby professionally until she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which completely changed her outlook on life. “I decided life was too short,” she said in an interview with Lonely Planet.

So she reached out to a non-profit, and luckily they were just in need of a photographer to cover their mission to Tanzania. Over a decade later, Zarnoch has covered the fundraising efforts and mission of half a dozen organizations. Her travels took her to Africa, Peru, Panama, Cuba, and Central America.

Zanoch’s experiences in Africa in particular, stand out to her. Although there is a language barrier in most places she visits, Zarnoch uses her camera to make connections, teaching the kids how to take their own photos and showing all her subjects the photos she takes. She shares some of these incredible experiences on her Instagram page. The warm and vibrant portraits taken in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Namibia, among others, speak for themselves.