When I was younger, like around high school/college age, I thought being a photographer would be the coolest job. I thought it would be particularly awesome to be a photojournalist that traveled the world. I read a ton of books about war photographers especially, but got a bit turned off of that after I read The Bang Bang Club about a group of photographers in South Africa during aparthaid. It was very interesting but also extremely tragic, since all of them were deeply affected by the violence and death they witnessed. One of them, Kevin Carter, even won the pulitzer prize, but eventually killed himself. I’d recommend the book, by the way, but it’ll definitely make you rethink your career objectives if you’re young and idealistic.
Of course I did almost nothing to actually develop a career in photojournalism other than taking a few classes in photography in college. It’s still a strong desire of mine to be a better photographer, even though I know I’ll only ever be an amateur. I admire good photographers, and I especially admire good professional photographers. They did what the rest of us only dream of! They take photographs AND GET PAID!
Yesterday I came across the name of a young photographer, Maisie Crow, who recently won the Ian Parry Award. This award is specifically for exceptional young photojournalists (winners must be under the age of 24). Maisie’s collection is about a young girl named Autumn who lives in poverty. The collection is very powerful and she deservedly won the award. However, what I found even more moving were the two multimedia presentations she has on her website.
Seriously you guys, if you do nothing else today, go and watch these films. They’re both short (maybe five minutes) but they are incredibly touching. This is the type of stuff I wish I’d made when I was in college. I wish I could make them NOW. Maisie is a seriously talented photographer and her films, particularly ‘Hungry’ touched me deeply. And she’s 24! That seems like a baby to me and she’s already putting together pieces of work like these. Amazing.