With huge displays in parades of military might, it’s easy to forget the individuals who live and work in the reclusive nation of North Korea.
Agence France-Presse photojournalist Ed Jones has been taking portraits of North Korean citizens since being assigned to the agency’s bureau there in 2016.
The photos show glimpses of the people who don’t usually get in front of the camera, though there is an approval process that Jones has to go through to get the images.
“Access to people is an important facet of my photography. But it can be something of a challenge in North Korea,” Jones wrote in a blog post for AFP. “Approaching people on the street for interviews or taking candid photos outside of designated areas is generally frowned upon.”
Requests to photograph citizens are usually approved. Two North Korean AFP staffers have to be with the photographer at all times.
Jones is usually pressed for time in portrait sessions, but believes it doesn’t hinder the final result.
“But despite the speed with which these portraits were taken and the reticence of most of those who agreed to pose, there was still a moment of intimacy involved ― however brief ― that felt authentic and unguarded,” Jones wrote.
See more photos by Ed Jones below: