The same picture appeared on the front cover of three major Newspapers last Thursday. On March 9th, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal all ran the same photo of a Syrian Boy weeping at the funeral of his father who died by the gunshot of a Syrian Army sniper. The AP photographer Rodrigo Abd came away with dozens of breathtaking shots, one of only a handful of journalists courageous enough to cover the horror of the last few weeks and skilled enough to take extraordinary photographs in those conditions. According to the NYT Lens blog, Page 1 editor Merrill D. Oliver hadn’t planned on putting another story about Syria up top, but the power of the image was so strong it had to be given prominence. “We hadn’t really, earlier in the day, had any plans to do anything on the breaking situation in Syria,” he said. “But the picture was just so outstanding that we had to show it.” Sometimes even in the cynical world of newsgathering, the inspiring work of a single artist can gain universal respect.
Not an Everyday Story
In Indonesia there is a wedding and party photographer named Rusidah Badawi. Like tons of other photographers, she is taking freelance gigs to save enough money to open her own studio. This is a pretty average existence for any photographer and pretty normal work for this 44 year old Indonesian woman. What makes this a noteworthy story? She is a double amputee with no arms. Wow! Read her story and watch this video and remember the hurdles she has had to overcome the next time you feel grumpy about having to shoot in less than ideal conditions.
The Road Less Traveled
It takes a special kind of person to want to travel to war zones or disaster sites to take pictures or find a news story. It takes an altogether different kind of courage to do it without the protection offered by the infrastructure of a coordinated press corps or the support of a qualified network of something like the Associated Press. All over the world independent photojournalists, and photographers inspired to tell a different kind of story than their average studio shoots allow them, put their lives on hold, and their bodies on the line to bring us under told stories from around the world. One of these photographers is Jeroen Swolfs. He recently traveled to witness the depths of human horror that exists in post earthquake Haiti. Just as many of these projects develop, this one started with a photographer and a vague idea and evolved into an altogether more personal story. Read it here.