Handling uncomfortable situations

Due to the nature of photojournalism you may occasionally be asked to take photos of something that makes you feel uncomfortable. For instance the other day there was a lot of police officers near my home. I had to go and try to find out what happened to see if it was news worthy. When I got there I saw the officers arresting a young man. I knew I needed to take pictures, because even if I didn’t end up using those photos, the possibility that I might need them was too great. It ended up that  I didn’t need the photos, but I have them, just incase the story grows.

This was an uncomfortable situation for me, as I am unwilling most of the time to invade someones privacy, so taking a photo of a mans face as he was arrested made me feel less then stellar. While respecting someones privacy is important getting a photo of an event is equally important.  If you can do both then attempt to do just that.

The person who taught me about photojournalism, one of her first experiences with this dilemma was when she was covering a car crash. It was between a civilian and a police officers vehicle, and there were people who were injured, as well as the fact that both cars were totaled. This meant that she had to utilize her rights, she stood on the sidewalk and captured some photos of the cars, strewn across the asphalt. This was hard for her as there were injuries for the drivers, but she balanced her need for photos, and telling the story with their privacy as victims.

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