This is a remarkable piece. It’s very tough to be a photographer, especially a hard one. You have to take photos of terrible scenes and remain motionless, not helping in anyway.
War photography and poverty photography are similar. They are honest accounts of honest situations and the photographer has to be numb to the view and made of rock not to let the memories sink into their dreams at night.
This article published on npr.org tells the reader how a photographer gets ingrained in a persons life and becomes part of the family. The story is so consuming for the family, that if they trust the photographer to tell a truthful account of their tale, she becomes a very important person in their life. This story is particularly amazing because it is based in China, know for its strict propaganda control, and the fact that she spent four years with the family and the story changed dramatically from what she originally intended.
Photographers like James Nachtwey become so respected by their subjects that he can go to places like Syria, Afghanistan or Rwanda and shoot both sides of the conflict. Him, and only him, can walk across the front line, from one side to the other and photograph either sides preparation for battle.
This is an amazing right to have and be granted and this is where I want to become more involved in. You have to be made of rock not to let the images stray into your sleep at night and it is a very selfish profession but one actually is making a difference in the world.
Have a great Tuesday,