If Michel du Cille wasn’t shooting a photo, he was thinking of the next photo he was going to shoot. He had a head full of messages he wanted to convey from our two trips to Liberia, things he believed the people had to see, to understand. It was only a question of where and when he would find the perfect image to tell the story.
So he hated it when we had to be in an office somewhere, or cooling our heels interviewing officials for my stories. He knew our 12-day trips were too short to capture everything he needed to show. He wanted to be out there, walking around Monrovia’s crowded slums or bumping along Liberia’s terrible roads or inside hellish centers for the sick and the dead. He knew that the shot he wanted could be around the next bend or in the next corridor, and he couldn’t bear the idea that he might miss it.
As far as I can tell, he never did.
Du Cille died Thursday of an apparent heart attack while on assignment in Liberia. Here is a selection of some of his photos and videos on the Ebola crisis.
Deedee Urey, whose husband and 4-month-old baby died from Ebola in September, cried as she posed with her four surviving children in Monrovia.
Klubo Mulbah is a health-care worker who contracted Ebola while caring for patients. After originally being told she was not infected, she had to push for treatment.
Dowmoah Kpezeh weeps as a Lofa County health department burial team buries her son Gulu Mulbah, 45, on Nov. 7, in Voinjama, Liberia. The burial team took Mulbah's body to his home where they buried him in his back yard wearing protective suits, gloves, and goggles. Safe burial practices are one of the ways experts say is working to eradicate Ebola in Liberia. Her son tested negative for the Ebola virus.
Sogbondo Raylo, carries a bundle of freshly harvested rice on here head on Nov. 6 in Foya, Lofa County, Liberia. The rice produced on the farms won't be sufficient for the year. The Ebola crisis caused them to plant their rice field late in the planting season. People affected by the Ebola virus in Lofa County are on the brink of hunger as food becomes scarce during the crisis.
The body of Jacqueline Morris is carried to the back of a pickup truck by a county health burial team on Nov. 7 in Voinjama, Liberia. The Morris family had insisted on accompanying the burial team during the removal from her home and burial of Morris, 38. Since the family was upset and wanted to be a part of the process, the burial team allowed the woman's brother to suit up with the team in a protective suit, gloves, and goggles. Safe burial practices are one of the ways experts say is working to eradicate Ebola in Liberia.
Decontee Davis spent weeks in an Ebola treatment center in Liberia. She recalls the moment when she knew her health was improving.
Joyce Wargbo, 16, harvested rice in Foya, Lofa County, Liberia. The rice produced on the Wargbo family farm won't be sufficient for the year. The Ebola crisis caused them to plant their rice field late in the planting season.
A boy lies on a mattress on the floor inside the Redemption Hospital, which has become a transfer and holding center to intake Ebola patients and is located in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Monrovia that locals call New Kru Tow. Health workers were overwhelmed with a constant stream of new patients since the Ebola outbreak. On one particular day in September, there were 102 Ebola related patients; nine died overnight.
A sick child that health workers called Cynthia rests on the concrete rise as she waited for Liberian Health workers to remove dead bodies before she could enter the Redemption Hospital in Monrovia.