Photo nerds enjoy saying, “Photos change the world.”
Well, even though i am studying photojournalism, i was pretty skeptical about it.
Change is not something that can happen with PHOTOS, i believed.
But given LA Times photographer Barbara Davidson’s work on a burning child, it seems obvious that at least photos can change one person’s philosophy to see the world.
Her photos dont take nicely written captures to understand the story because themselves show everything.
Apart from everything, I appreciate Barbara that she successfully opened the subjects’ mind, so she can approached them in an honest way. i believe every photographers should appreciate it. That is not something everyone can do. I have learned that great photo stories made not only by talented photographers but by the subjects who are willing to unveil their privacy. No one can make any story without great subjects.
Every photo in Barbara’s story has rich emotions: innocence, fear, pain, tragedy, love and joy. Some people say as a genre photo story’s day has gone just as LIFE magazine; it cant deal with complicated issues and multimedia has the solutions or whatever. But I have never seen any multimedia piece and even Hollywood movies. They made great story but they fail to put all the emotion in a piece.
Emotion follows empathy. Empathy makes a great photo story teller because it allows photographers to see the things from the subjects’ points of view. To do so, photographers should be ready for putting themselves into the subjects’ lives. And I believe Barbara’s story shows the quality.
Sometimes, I miss those days when i have no idea about photos: the days I have old nikon cropped body camera; the days I could just have fun with the little toy. the more I know, i found, the more it’s frustrating me. The gap between what i can make at the moment and what i wish to make is too huge. I still have a lot, i mean A LOT, to learn.
But, as Anne Lamott says, “But be careful: if your intuition says that your story sucks, make sure it really is your intuition and not your mother.”