Shutterstock I May, 7, 2020
It’s a painful and stressful time, but in the midst of devastating loss and uncertainty, photographers around the world are finding reasons to be hopeful.
“In the past, I’ve covered historic events such as Maoist Insurgency, the massive earthquake in 2015, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nepal-based photojournalist Narendra Shrestha tells us. “For the first time in my career, I’m facing a new kind of challenge. This is something I have no reference point for. It’s something I never imagined would happen in my lifetime, and I am learning every day.”
So much about this pandemic is unprecedented, from the exponential spike in disease to the response from leading researchers and scientists. It’s a historic event on both a national and global scale.
The hope can be found on the balconies of Italy and Tel Aviv, in the streets of Morocco and London, and beyond. For some, it all comes down to a momentous occasion of strength and unity. For others, it’s something smaller and more subtle, like a glance shared between two people.
“As a photojournalist, I feel it is my responsibility to give people some kind of positive message and convey any rays of hope I can grasp,” Shrestha says. “When I share positive photos, people comment about how it’s helped them find peace and positivity amid the pandemic. In turn, reading those comments, I find myself at peace.”
We interviewed thirteen extraordinary photojournalists about some of their most powerful images, and asked for their insights on staying safe during this period. Read on for their stories . . .
Monirul Alam: While I was covering the local situation in Bangladesh one day, I made my way to the Kamlapur train station where thousands of people were leaving Dhaka to return to their villages. I always look at people’s eyes and try to understand what they’re thinking. I saw this girl sitting on the train, reading the daily newspaper and absorbing the reality of our new situation.
Three or four days later, I visited the same train station. It was almost empty, save for a few railway guards. It was silent, and I stood there taking pictures of the vast emptiness. As I did this, I heard some sparrows begin to sing. For me, their song represented life and hope for the future.
What are your tips for photographers hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Monirul Alam: As a photojournalist, remember not to panic or put too much pressure on yourself. Our mental health is more important than ever in this kind of situation. Don’t force yourself to work long hours. We all need occasional breaks to cope with what we’re seeing.
Learn more about Monirul Alam: Website. Instagram. Twitter.
STAY SAFE, Thank you so much Shutterstock blog to published photojournalists interview . . .
Diary / 11 May, 2020
Old Dhaka, Bangladesh