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The Table Read Most Read Awards

On The Table Read, the “Best Celebrity Magazine in the UKhigh society Royal Photographer, Joth Shakerley, spends 36 years photographing illusive hippie Rainbow Gatherings across the world.

Kickstarter campaign launches 05.05.2022 –

‘This collection of images invites us to heal and reconnect with our own hearts, and to deeply connect with others, in the wild beauty of nature.’ – Joth Shakerley

Rainbow Gatherings

In a series of raw, heart-warming black and white images, internationally renowned photographer Joth Shakerley invites you into the secret world of Rainbow gatherings. Collected over three decades, the images reveal intimate moments from within the notoriously private movement (cameras are usually not allowed at the Rainbow gatherings).

The photos uncover humans embracing a different, more authentic and stripped-back way of living, set against wild backdrops of natural beauty. 

Rainbow Gathering, Joth Shakerley Photographer, The Table Read
Rainbow Gathering

The photography book will be self-published, with a kick-starter launching on 5th May 2022 to raise money for the print run: 

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Joth Shakerley

‘Just a few hours walk from the edge of civilization, there is this parallel universe of raw human beings that come together to practice a different way of living, away from the world of stuff. Did you ever ask yourself what it is, we actually need, after stripping away comfort and the narratives of the status quo?

Imagine thousands of people holding hands in one unbroken circle, silent in prayer. Hear their voices come together in a single OM reverberating through the valley and to the hills beyond. Hold the Om in your mind. Let it spread, through you, around and in you. Feel it pass from hand to hand, heart to heart. This magic, this connection, is the essence, the heartbeat of Rainbow. 

This book represents the essence of what Rainbow means to me. A feeling of bliss, a moment of simple joy. Pure love for ourselves and for each other. Sitting around a campfire at night, singing beautiful healing mantras together under cascading stars, our voices in total harmony, tears of joy in our eyes, feeling the purity of connection to a oneness, and to a universal love.’

More on the Rainbow Gatherings

The first Rainbow Gathering was in July 1972, when thousands of people climbed Table Mountain in Colorado to pray and meditate for world peace. Since then, gatherings have been held all over the world, from the UK to the US to Hawaii.

‘The Rainbow Family is not an organisation. It is non-commercial, non-political and non-religious. There is no money and no trade. It is completely organic and self-sufficient. It has no leaders and no one to represent it. It only exists when it gathers in nature. There are at least three Gatherings happening every month all over the world. Thousands of people go to Rainbow Gatherings and yet it has no members. Some say it is the largest non-organisation of non-members in the world.’ – Joth Shakerley.

person holding black camera lens
Photo by Marek on

Many of the world’s best-loved music festivals have Rainbow Gatherings to thank – including the famous ‘Welcome Home’ arrival mantra adopted by Burning Man. The themes of nature, freedom and universal love are familiar to all of today’s festival go-ers, as are the wellbeing workshops, wild swimming and yoga enjoyed by so many. 

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Consent And Photography

‘These images reflect my personal journey with family and friends. Photography is not usually welcome. Respectful and entirely mindful of this, I have spent days, weeks, months asking people’s individual consent to take their photograph in a natural moment and have sometimes waited for years for this to happen. These images are not documenting a Rainbow Gathering. They are shared moments given with love. Afterwards, I hand-print for hours, days, in my dark room, only to return, carrying a large box, from Gathering to Gathering, with the hope of finding the people in the images I have been given. When I find them, I give them their photograph, their image, and ask for their consent to use it.’

About Joth Shakerley

Joth is an internationally renowned social photographer covering events and portraits for the Royal family and celebrities including Cara Delevingne, The Rolling Stones,  Gian Luca Vialli  and Thandie Newton. He worked as a photojournalist in conflict zones  such as El Salvador, Cambodia and the Gulf honing his skills at capturing the truth behind the image. 

He has two books published, The Taming of  the Eagles which is a poignant account of life in the Soviet Union after the  collapse of communism and Pregnant Women, a view on the beauty of  motherhood in all its naked glory. His passion and his art has always been his 35 years of travels with the Rainbow Family. 

In the summer of 1986 Joth received an invitation at the Hare Krishna  temple in Los Angeles to go to a Rainbow Gathering in the foothills of Big  Sur, California, an invitation which was to completely change his life. Since then, he has been on an epic journey that has taken him and later  his family to Gatherings all over the world, travelling to Hawaii, Thailand,  Morocco, Russia, Australia, The Arctic Circle, Israel, Mexico and almost  every country in Europe.

His daughters have grown up at Gatherings and  still sing the Rainbow songs and he maintains beautiful heart to heart  connections to friends and family from all over the world. It has always been his vision to bring these photographs, these incredible,  shared, intimate moments into a book, to portray a different way of being,  a positive view on how we can all change, how we can transform, heal and  reconnect with ourselves and our hearts in the beauty of nature

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One thought on “Photos from the secret world of hippie Rainbow Gatherings from Royal Photographer Joth Shakerley”
    If I had the means to hang these all through my home, I surely would.

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