Daniel Berehulak

An interview with Daniel Berehulak by Michael Harris.

Daniel Berehulak is an award winning, independent Australian photographer and photojournalist, currently residing in Mexico. Born in Sydney in 1975 to Ukrainian immigrant parents, Berehulak studied history at university before embarking on a business career. In 2002 He began his photography career at first shooting sporting events, before moving to London to work for Getty Images as a staff news photographer.

To date, Daniel has worked in over 60 countries around the world covering infamous events such as; the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami disaster, the trial of Saddam Hussein and more recently the war on drugs in the Philippines. His work has received numerous awards, in 2011 for his work covering the Pakistan Floods and his coverage of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. Berehulak has twice been named Photographer of the Year.

  

When did you begin taking photographs? What made you want to begin a career as a photojournalist?

I’ve always been taking photographs—even as a boy, on school excursions or with family, I was taking photos. That love for making pictures and capturing memories and moments allowed it to grow in to my career.

What inspires your work?

Coming from somewhere where I had a very privileged upbringing, it always felt like people didn’t understand what people in other parts of the world are going through. I feel that I have a responsibility to tell stories about people all over the world.

NATARI, JAPAN – MARCH 06: Michiko Miura, 53, holds the hand of her son, Taisei Miura, 1 year 8 month old, as she walk past her neighbours home destroyed in last years tsunami, on March 06, 2012 in Natari, Japan. As the one year anniversary approaches, the areas most affected by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 15,848 dead and 3,305 missing according to Japan’s National Police Agency continue to struggle. Thousands of people still remain without homes living in temporary dwellings. The Japanese government faces an uphill battle with the need to dispose of rubble as it works to rebuild economies and livelihoods. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images)

You started as a sports photographer, what made you want to begin working overseas covering natural disasters and conflict?

I studied history in university, and as a kid I read adventure books –stories about the Amazon, the Arctic, and all the incredible place in between. I’ve been curious about the world and always wanted to see the world. Working overseas has allowed me to see so much of the world and share the stories of the people who live in it.

Did any photojournalist’s work stand out to you as inspirational in your own growth as a photographer?

Many! So many of my colleagues inspire me every single day—Kevin Frayer, Joao Silva, Meredith Kohut, James Nachtwey, …I could go on and on.

Your work covering the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is incredibly powerful. How did that project come about and did you have any hesitation traveling to an area where the danger cannot easily be seen?

I had been following the story and knew the Times had covered it, so when my editor called up and asked if I was interested I immediately answered, “Yes”. The story is so important, and had this element of interconnectedness to it. This disease could put the whole world in danger. Saying “yes” all came back to the idea of responsibility: I had the opportunity to cover this story and so I was going to do it, and I was going to do my very best with it.

Eric Gweah cries as a burial team removes the body of his father, West Africa 2015

Have you ever had issues turning down potential projects? If so, what is the hardest aspect of it?

Yeah, I actually had to turn down an assignment for National Geographic covering Ebola and that was really hard. I thought maybe I’d never get the chance to work with them again. However, I was already working with one publication on the story and I really wanted to see the story through and be loyal to the publication that had sent me there.

Tell us about your trip to the Antarctic, you said it had always been a dream of yours?

I had read about the explorers as a kid but never thought it could be a reality. Through opportunities working with the Times, I really got to live the dream.

 

Of all the work you have done over the years, which work are you most proud of, or consider the most important?

Any story that makes people stop in their tracks and makes them reconsider how they’re living their lives or their approach to something, maybe just brings up something they hadn’t thought about before is important to me. Stories that connect people and spark and emotional response are the stories I’m proudest of— especially Ebola and the recent Philippines story.

 

A young girl, displaced by flooding, and stranded, on land only accessible by air, sleeps covered in flies, on a makeshift bed on August 27, 2010 in Garhi Khairo near Jacobabad in Sindh province, Pakistan. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Which do you think is more difficult to cover, emotionally; natural disasters or the results of human conflict?

The frustrating thing with conflicts is that they’re manmade. Natural disasters are equally as tragic but a natural disaster is just that: a natural disaster. War is preventable. They’re both equally difficult to cover emotionally but war is much more frustrating.

How difficult is it coping with the stresses of working in these environments? How do you think a photographer should best deal with them?

Assignments always very in level of difficulty and stress, but what I always have to remind myself of is to have perspective. Yes, it may be difficult for me for the short period of time I’m there, but I get to go home, to leave, at the end of my assignment. The people that I’m photographing don’t—this is their lives, this is their reality.

One thing that really helps is having a good network of friends who have gone through similar things, and who are there to talk things out (or to just be with after a long assignment). I also think seeking professional guidance or help is great.

Is there anywhere you really want to travel to that you haven’t yet to document?

I’d love to go to Alaska and focus more reporting on climate change.

Do you have any interesting projects you are working on at the moment?

I have some stuff in the works. At the moment I’m working on a story in Mexico where I’m based.

What advice would you give to a potential photojournalist beginning his or her career?

Dream big and set goals for yourself. Nothing gets handed to you—you’ll have to work for everything. Be persistent when you get turned away and allow that to give you fuel and momentum. And last but not least, photograph things that are close to you and that you care about—your connection to that subject is what will make your work stand-out, and it makes you that much more invested in what you’re photographing.

http://www.danielberehulak.com

Rio Helmi

Interview by Adam Abela.

 

Rio Helmi is an Indonesian photographer and writer. He has been a resident of Ubud for over forty years. Born to an Indonesian Diplomat Father and Turkish mother, Helmi speaks five languages fluently.

Much of Helmi’s current work focuses on Balinese culture, and the interaction between indigenous people and their environment. In the past he has traveled broadly across the Indonesian Archipelago, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, Ladakh and Mongolia, to photograph both distant tribal people and modern urban life. Rio Helmi now freelances for many regional and international magazines also having publishing several large format photo books.

What influenced you to get into the photography industry?

I was always interested in telling stories, showing aspects of what was happening around us to people who otherwise might never know. Photography seemed to me, a very direct means of communication, that could touch people in a very direct manner. What I consider to my real work in photography is somewhere between photojournalism and documentary photography.

 

What is it you want to share with the world?

I don’t think I have one particular “message to the world”. A lot of photojournalism is a reaction to what is happening around us. However, where that reaction comes from involves a whole set of values, experiences, and aspiration. I’ve always been interested in what happens to people at the grassroots level, in remote areas, which are normally off the radar. I think there are many stories yet to be told. In Indonesia and many parts of Asia there are many people who experience difficulties which people ignore. Also many who have something of interest to share. I am interested in sharing stories about interesting people, about artists, about people who influence culture.

 

Much of your work is captured in Bali, such as ‘Memories’.
Is it your aim to spread a wider message about the
Balinese spiritual culture?

A memory is about something which has passed. It does concern me that so much is being lost in the fast and furious pace of change on this island. Aspects of the culture which made it so special, (for example) the natural beauty.

 

You are also the photographer of the book ‘Bali Style’ which cover the celebration of the traditional Balinese architecture, interiors, arts and crafts.
What history of importance do these traditions have towards Balinese people?

That book was a commissioned book. Initially I didn’t really want to do it, but my publisher pushed me. Eventually I gave in because even then I had a sense of how much of the architecture of Bali was disappearing, so I slightly subverted the original concept to include not just fancy villas but a lot of the classic (and some of the quirky) Balinese architecture. The book is now fast becoming a historical reference book.

 

Your work appears in magazines, documentaries and you have over 20 large format books. Which one is your favorite? Why?

Well I think Memories of the Sacred really stands out for me. It is pretty much a condensed retrospective of 30 years of my work on Bali – it helped me to make sense of all those long hours waiting, shooting, and just getting there which in the old days was a lot harder!
River of Gems my Borneo book with Lorne Blair is also important to me. There was some pretty wild adventure, and it was all done with my best friend who sadly died far too young in my opinion.

What motivates you as a photographer?

It’s always the story that pulls you in.

You become involved in it.

It becomes the driving force.

 

http://riohelmi.com

References

Rio Helmi Photography. 2017. “Rio Helmi Photography”.

Retrieved 3 April 2017, from http://riohelmi.com/

Memories of The Sacred. 2017. “Afterhours Books”.

Retrieved 3 April 2017, from http://www.afterhoursbooks.com/memories-of-the-sacred

Style, B., & Helmi, R. 2017. “Bali Style. Alibris”.

Retrieved 3 April 2017, from http://www.alibris.com/Bali-Style-Rio-Helmi/book/554246

Home – Ubud Now & Then. 2017. “Ubud Now & Then”.

Retrieved 3 April 2017, from http://ubudnowandthen.com

Therese Alice Sanne

Interview by Elise Straalberg.

Therese Alice Sanne is a Norwegian photographer based in Oslo. Alongside personal projects, Sanne works on commission primarily in news, editorial documentary and portraiture for the Norwegian Newspapers Verdens Gang and Adresseavisen.

Sanne holds a bachelor’s degree in Photojournalism from Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences [HiOA].

The denied people 7/10: Sixteen-year-old Arjedar at the end of her wedding day.

How did you become interested in photography?

When I was young a photographer named Rune Petter Ness moved into the house next door of my Grandparents. I spent Sundays eating dinner at his house, listening to his experiences working for the Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen. He told about everything from funerals, surgery to portraying famous people. He had lots of books about photography and through them I explored photographers like Sebastião Salgado During. He opened my eyes for the world through photography I didn’t know about as a twelve-year-old child. It created a path I have followed ever since that day.

What are some of the most impactful projects you have completed over the years?

All my big projects have been very important for me. If I’m going to work with something during a long period of time I need to have passion for it. My teacher at Pathshala School of photography told me ”a story must come from within”. For me this means that you need to find the motivation inside yourself. If you don’t feel anything about the things you’re doing, the way you convey the message is loosing it’s power.

Another factor that’s affecting me is the support from my surroundings like honour, recognition and money. When I find an idea I rely on my feelings. It’s always the feelings that push me forward, and keep me going when I feel I can’t take it anymore.

The story about the Rohingya-refugees in Myanmar is a cruel and sad one. This is what makes it so important to tell, because the world needs too see. The Rohingya-people can’t continue living like this.
One day when I was leaving the camp I came across a wedding. I thought this was the moment I would have the opportunity to experience a rare moment filled with joy. When I asked where the bride was, the groom brought me inside a small house made of bamboo. It was dark, but in the corner I saw a silhouette of a little girl. People told she was 16, but it looked like she was 12. I tried to say something to her. She was sad –but didn’t cry. It felt like she had disappeared into herself. I caught myself thinking; would this girl ever be happy? It’s been three years since I met her, but I can’t get her out of my head.

How did you decide to work with this conflict, and what did you go through mentally?

I spent two months in Myanmar. I went there the last semester I studied photojournalism at HiOA. Somehow I never imagined going to a place like this, covering conflict zones and areas of famine. Maybe I have seen too many of the stereotype pictures? When I did my research I came pass the story of the Rohingyas, and felt a lot of energy and anger. When I read about other topics, my mind constantly drifted back to this story.

I went to Sittwe, a place a lot of tourists also are visiting. Just a couple of kilometres away you find the Internally Displaced Person camps [IDP-camps] where the Rohinyas live. They have to stay there because their houses were burned to the ground. The Rakhine who’s behind the attacks are also the people who own everything in Sittwe, including the hotels and restaurants. This made it challenging to be a photojournalist living here, because they know we are covering the story of the Rohinyas. At the same time I stayed there a camera crew form Malaysian NGO were attacked in their room in the middle of the night, beaten with large sticks.

It had a huge impact on me meeting the people there. The meetings with the children were especially strong. One boy had a huge scar on his stomach after being stabbed with a knife another little girl really struggled with a motor skills disorder after being thrown into a fire just a couple of days old. Some people meant I was sent by Allah, and I think it really helped me to be there as a photojournalist because you are forced to focus. I also think my anger protected me from a breakdown. I’m still feeling the anger when I think about it today.

The denied people 3/10: After the first wave of violence in 2012, president Thein Sein stated that Myanmar would not take responsibility for the Rohingya. Accused of being illegal immigrants, they lost their recognition as an ethnic group in the country. The president’s solution for the displaced Rohingya was to send them to a third country or put them in temporary camps. Ten camps on the outskirts of Sittwe were quickly built.

Where do you find inspiration and how did you develop your own visual approach?

I find inspiration everywhere. Just walking on the street or going to a museum starts a process in my brain. Other photographers also have a huge impact; Eugene Richards, Sarker Protick, Lars Tunbjørk and Duane Michals to mention some.

My visual approach is changing in regards to the projects. When you take pictures of an over crowded refugee camp it’s a different feeling compared to an underpopulated island. When I want to convey the feeling, I need to find the right approach. It’s important that my style is not changing the story, but to choose the style that fits for the story.

What my pictures have in common it’s how they’re influenced by my feelings. I trust my gut when I shoot a story and do the editing. A good picture also needs to trigger the feelings of the audience. You obviously need to some logic and reflection, but the feelings and emotions are the main part.

The denied people 4/10: The cracks are small, but if you push your head hard enough against the bamboo wall, you could get a glimpse of Psy dancing across the cinema’s projector screen as he sings “Gangnam Style”.

How does the people you meet and their stories influence you as a person and photographer?

All the stories and people are influencing me. Some have a huge impact, but it’s also important to remember I’m there to tell their stories. I still keep in touch with a lot of the people I captured on my pictures. Some became my friends.

www.theresealicesanne.com

References

BBC news (13. November 2016) Myanmar army fires on Rohingya villages in Rakhine region. Visited on 3. April 2017
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37968090

Chia J. (05 March, 2016) The Truth About Myanmar’s Rohingya Issue. Visited on 3. April 2017
http://thediplomat.com/2016/03/the-truth-about-myanmars-rohingya-issue/

Sanne T.A. (2017) About. Visited on 2. April 2017

http://theresealicesanne.com/about

Sanne T.A. (2014) The Denied People. Visited on 2. April 2017

http://atimetotalkproject.com/portfolio/therese/

Tim Page

Interview with war photographer Tim Page by Homer Nemenzo.

Tim Page in his home office 23/03/17. Photo by Jake Day.

In the early morning of March 30, 2017, two days after Cyclone Debbie hit the east coast of Central Queensland I found myself driving around through heavy rain and blistering wind. The visibility around me was so poor and I could hear the man on the radio advising all drivers to stay off the road as it was not safe. However, I was not about to stop or turn around and go home; I needed to meet a very special man, the man who escaped death numerous times to photograph the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, his name was Tim Page.

Tim Page was born on the 25th of May 1944 in Royal Tunbridge Wells, a large affluent town in western Kent, England. In 1962, at a tender age of 17, Tim left his family home and travelled across Europe; driving through Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand and finally reached Vietnam in 1965. Due to his love for photography he found work as a press photographer in Laos stringing for the United Press International (UPI) and the Agence France-Presse (AFP). From there Tim had spent the next three and a half years photographing and documenting the Vietnam War. He became an iconic war photographer and was named one of the ‘100 Most Influential Photographer of All Time’. In the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’, the photojournalist Dennis Hopper’s character was based on Tim Page. Today the man who captured some of the most amazing images of the Vietnam war for all the world to see lives peacefully with his wife in a quiet suburb of Brisbane.  

 

 

Tim, you left home at a very early age, did you have an actual destination and did you plan to document the Vietnam War?

When I was 16 years old I had a motorbike accident in the UK and I was dead but I came back. I can’t really remember much of it but I supposed that when you have seen the tunnel and came back, everything else is free time. As for the war, I did not look for it, it found me.

Did you travel alone or did you travel with other people?

Oh no, I travelled with all sorts of people in a Kombi van which I later sold. I had no money so I sold watches, my camera, vehicles and even currency which was worth more in the other side of some borders. I’ve also smuggled hash over the border and pimped.

When you arrived in Vietnam in 1965 and started documenting the war, did it come across in your mind that maybe you’ll never get to go home again?

Well, at first, we did not know that it was going to get that bad and by the time it hit the roof, it was too late. I was also broke, I was always broke and the money was there.

Obviously, it must have been very challenging to photograph when you have hundreds, thousands of bullets flying around you, not to mention land mines and other hazards. Did you have a tactical plan before you went out in the field?

Because I was not a soldier I had more time to look around and assess the surroundings. You learn soon enough where everybody is and even the weapons that they were carrying just by the sounds they make.

Were you also carrying a weapon to protect yourself?

No, it was not my job. However, if I was travelling with a small group of soldiers and no one could watch my back then they would tell me to carry one but I prefer not to. A weapon is as good as the ammunition that they carry and they’re bloody heavy!

You were injured several times but you kept coming back for more, can you tell us why?

I supposed that if you get hurt and you live for another day then you start to believe that you can do it all over again.

But your last injury put an end to your participation in the Vietnam war, can you remember that day?

We jumped off the chopper to save some wounded soldiers. The sergeant in front of me stepped on a land mine which sent him 30 feet up in the air and lost both of his legs and I was hit by a two-inch shrapnel just above my right eye. I was basically pronounced dead but again I survived and spent the next year in the US undergoing extensive neuro-surgery.

Going back to the war, it must have been hard to relax and sleep after seeing the horror each day, how did you all cope after a long day?

I slept ok. After a day in the field we would go to the bar; drink some beers, smoke some joints and maybe visit an opium farm then sleep like a baby.

Were there occasions where you photographed outside the warzone area?

Yes, boring photos. Sometimes we were asked to photograph some ladies giving birth in the local hospitals or just random boring photos.

If you could go back time, would you do it again?

No, if I knew it was going to get that bad I would not be in there.

Lastly, what is your opinion of the Vietnam War?

I believe it’s all political and I believe America did not win it but it is what is. Many people have died; soldiers, civilians and even photojournalists.

 

Conclusion:

Before I left Tim, there was kind of sadness inside me. There I was sitting in a small room with a man who shares the same passion as me. Someone who I only just knew but still do not know. I have researched him, spent four hours talking to him in person but all I know is his work but I am now curious of him, what is in Tim Page’s mind?

I have a huge respect for all war photojournalists such as Tim. For some they may be crazy but to me they are soldiers without the guns, instead they carry weapons that freeze the moments so the world can see the horror in wars.

Resources:

http://www.timpage.com.au/

http://www.timpage.com.au/about/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-18/legendary-vietnam-war-photojournalist-tim-page-on-his-career/6786642

Books:

Tim Page, Nam

Tim Page, The Mindful Moment

Joshua McDonald

Interview by Ruby Pascoe.

Joshua McDonald grew up in regional Northern NSW Australia. He changed schools at age fourteen, following an expulsion and moved out of home at age sixteen. Josh was in his second year of an apprenticeship after leaving school and living with friends when he decided to go on a holiday to Bali with a group. He made a last-minute decision to travel somewhere else entirely and at age seventeen, he booked a solo trip to Kenya.

Josh has now been working as a human rights photojournalist for the last five years in many different countries around the world.

When did you first start to show an interest in photography?

My sister is a well-respected photographer in the Northern Rivers, so growing up I was always surrounded by cameras, naturally, I was always interested in it.

[In Kenya] I teamed up with a local NGO, and started taking photos on my first camera – a Canon 7D my sister gave to me second hand. The photos were no good, but it allowed me the opportunity to feel I was doing something worthy.

You’ve worked in a range of different countries, how did you become drawn to these stories and issues around the world? Are there particular stories that you want to tell?

My first interest in the kind of stories I cover came from discussions with my father as a kid. Saturday was always our time together, he’d drive me to my soccer games, we would talk about the ancient world, the Sudanese famine, Afghanistan and conflict. We spoke about everything. In the years to come this would be my main interest. I never watched TV, only documentaries, I read lots of books. I spent most of my spare time just researching these topics.

My main focus would be conflict and human rights. Personally, I can’t understand how these topics go undiscussed in the public. I love people, I love taking photos of them, hearing and sharing their stories. I guess the stories I want to tell are just other people’s stories that I, as a kid, would’ve taken interest in.

How did you find yourself working as a photojournalist at such a young age?

The combination of my keen interest in history, traveling, politics, and photography really influenced my interest in photojournalism. Shortly after Kenya, I returned to Australia only for a few weeks to quit my job and say goodbye to friends and family. I took a one-way flight to Paris with the intention of pursuing a vagabond lifestyle. Most of my photos in the months after this were of the people I met along my travels and the places I went.

I, along with two friends had booked a trip through the Balkans [to] the Middle East and down the coast of Africa, we were only a few days away from Israel when the war [in] 2014 started. My friends pulled out instantly. I, at the time, felt drawn to go and see it for myself. I covered the bombings of Gaza shortly after my 18th birthday. I had no connections, no prior training and very ill equipment.

At the time, I felt very brave. My friends would tell me how awesome it was that I was there, but it is only now that I have covered conflicts around the world that I understand how naive it was of me to document those bombings. I not only put my own life at risk but all [of] those who I worked with. Overall, Palestine was a stepping stone towards my career but I was lucky, very lucky that I made it out alive.

You’ve worked during conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, mostly on the front line, how was this experience for you as a photojournalist?

I felt that I was ready for Iraq only because, as a naive kid, I covered Palestine. The reality could not have been more different. It was exciting, I loved it [and] I miss it so much but at the same time I have nightmares of what I witnessed in Iraq. I knew these places existed and I knew what to expect, but actually seeing it [and] feeling it was hard. I came so close to death several times, yet if asked today to head back to Mosul, I’d go.

You’ve also worked in Nicaragua, and have helped bring to light the disease CKDnT which has and is causing many deaths in the state. Now that these stories are being published, along with your images, how do you feel your work is effecting the public’s awareness of this disease and the people it effects?

Nicaragua was my first large investigate story. I lived in a village there for a few months and spent almost a year working closely with medical experts in London and Boston. I spent a lot of money and time on this project and wasn’t ever convinced I’d achieve much from it, as not many people are interested in rural Nicaragua, so to now see that my work there has won awards and secured me future contracts in Afghanistan and the Ivory Coast is amazing.

In Nicaragua, changes are being made to improve workers’ rights. And in neighbouring El Salvador we have convinced a sugar mill to implement a new work ethic which has been very successful.

In your experience, do you think photojournalism can change people’s views on an issue and therefore lead to change?

Yes, of course, For anyone who doubts this I only ask that they watch the film – Jim. It’s a film about a friend of mine who was killed in Syria. This film proves why photojournalism is so important. Storytelling, whether through photography or writing always has and always will be very important. I will stand by my belief that a camera, if in the right hands, is much more powerful than any weapon.

Where do you see yourself in the future in your line of work? Where would you like it to take you?

I don’t want to work for a large publication. I just want to cover stories that mean something. I can see myself covering conflict for the next few years then hopefully focusing on my own projects.

After spending some time back home in Australia, Josh now has assignments on child labour in coal mines in India, slavery on cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast and a trip to the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. He is hoping to cover these stories before October this year. During a long connection flight, not too long ago, Josh wrote a list of all the stories he wants to cover, but these will have to wait for now, until next year.

http://joshuamcdonald.org/

 

 

Research:

Newton, Julianne H, ‘Photojournalism: Do people matter? Then photojournalism matters,’ Journalism Practice 3 (2009): 2, 233-243, accessed 21 March 2017, Taylor Fancis Online. Doi: http://dx.doi.org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/10.1080/17512780802681363

Finkelstein, David, ‘Photojournalism: Arthur Fellig and Homai Uyawalla,’ Journalism Practice 3 (2009): 1, 108-112, accessed 21 March 2017, Taylor Francis Online. Doi: http://dx.doi.org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/10.1080/17512780802560823

McKillop, Andrew, ‘Iraq War: Worth it or Not?,’ Sage Journals 24 (2013) 6, 1051-1056, accessed 25 March 2017. Doi: 10.1260/0958-305X.24.6.1051

Ordunez, Pedro, Martinez, Ramon, Reveiz, Ludovic, Chapman, Evelina, Saenz, Carla and Da Sliva, Agnes, ‘Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemic in Central America: Urgent Public Health Action is Needed amid Causal Uncertainty,’ PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 8 (2014): 8, accessed 26 March 2017. Doi: http://dx.doi.org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003019

Source List:

Joshua Mcdonald: joshmcdonald.info@gmail.com

Website: https://jmcdonaldphotography.squarespace.com/

Heath Holden

Interview with Heath Holden a wildlife photojournalist by Jessica Dennis.

How old were you when you first started photography and what influenced you to get into the industry?

I was probably about 23 when I first bought a camera. It was a basic point and shoot Canon, but it had enough features to learn what the manual controls were all about, this was the start of it. I had been riding BMX for a long time and it was a huge part of my life so it was a natural thing to start photographing riding and the travelling we did to ride new places. Also, I had always been interested in wildlife and wild places and when I received a book for Christmas it really inspired me to look a bit deeper into that.

Have you completed any qualifications or have you progressed from self- taunt talent? If so where did you study and what did you study?

When I was in school there was no option to study photography, well I don’t think there was anyway. I was more of a technically minded kid, I don’t really think of myself as creative or artistic. Before photography took over I worked as a Toyota technician (automotive mechanic) for about 6 years, it is a respectable job but it wasn’t too enjoyable being stuck in a workshop 5 days a week when all I could think about was riding or exploring the world. Photography came to me later on in life through that curiosity and exploring personal interests, I visualise a lot of my work before it happens and photography is the only way I can put it all together into a tangible object. So, I guess I am self-taught haha. I have attended a few workshops, festivals and speaking events over the years, and met some very influential photographers and editors. These are very inspiring and you can build great relationships with people who might be in the position to get your current or future projects off the ground or to the next level. Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do.

What type of struggles did you find along the way of finding success?

There are always weird little struggles popping up along the way but one obvious and very important one is money. Learning to charge correctly can be hard, you will lose jobs because you over quote or you will win the job but then realise you have under quoted because the job description wasn’t super accurate. It is just a learning curve and the way through it is with experience and mentorship. One important thing is to work out who you are as a photographer and steer your career in that direction, you can still be diverse but be focused on just a few select styles of work. If you love the outdoors, wildlife and nature you really won’t be happy shooting product photography for a teddy bear company, and vice versa.

What is your greater mission as a photojournalist? What is it you want to share with the world?

I want my work to make people think a lot deeper than they currently do, human attention spans have gone. For the most part is has turned into a LIKE-fest. Just double tap, “LIKE” then keep on scrollin’. I want viewers to look at my work and wonder, to stimulate some thought, read the captions or text.

What has been your biggest accomplishment and favourite piece of work and why did you decide to do it?

The past couple of years have been really great, I have been given the opportunity to shoot some amazing assignments. Photographically, my Tasmanian devil project has been the most consuming thing I have ever done, it has grabbed me and I’m a little scared I won’t be able to stop when the time comes. This body of work is special to me, it started as a personal project to keep busy after living in Singapore for nearly two years, I simply wanted to get some good shots of wild Tasmanian devils, it has since grown and I am working to document as many aspects of the devil’s life as possible. The work has been published with numerous stories including National Geographic and a 5-page feature in BBC Wildlife magazine.

Many of your works involve animals, such as ‘The life of a Tasmanian Devil.’ Are you wanting to spread a wider message about animals? Why is it important to you to capture the devils in their natural habitat?

I’ve always had a fascination with wildlife, it is that curiosity thing again and wanting to learn as much as I can. I worked for the Singapore Zoo for almost two years documenting the zoo operations and what happens behind the fences; educational content, medical procedures, breeding programs etc. I learned a lot during my time there.

Wildlife do not have the luxury of being able to stand up and say “no, please don’t cut our home down”. They need as much help from humans as possible just to stay in existence. If it were up to the big corporations and incompetent governments, the forests, jungles and rivers would all be chopped and dammed simply for more profit and votes from a certain demographic. There needs to be a healthy common balance, I don’t think I’m alone when I say I am very tired of the same old greens versus logging bullshit argument, especially in Tasmania. It is holding the whole place back.

My camera trap work with the devil is all 100% authentic, no baiting or captive animals. Ethically it is just the right way to do it, and I do like the challenge. I mean, anyone could setup in a captive situation and get shots with absolutely zero effort, what’s the point of that? The variety of shots would be very limited in a captive setup and I have seen shots of devils which people have baited and they are terrible. The wildlife parks do play a part in the complete story of the devil though, it allows me to photograph visitor interactions, studio portraits etc. For where I want this story to eventually go, it needs to be photographed at the highest level of professionalism. It has taught me valuable skills which are transferrable to the next assignment involving camera trapping and natural history photojournalism. Snow leopards? Who knows.

On your series Nepal, what was your main purpose of documenting the trip? What was the reasoning behind capturing their culture? And how long did the project take to complete?

My Nepal trip was a bit over a month long and worked in two parts. The first was to document an ultra-run from Pokhara to Kathmandu, about 220kms. It was a joint charity run to raise funds for kid’s cancer in Tasmania and to help Nepalese children with schooling and to try and help rebuild Nepal’s reputation as a safe tourist destination, ever since the 2015 earthquake the region has struggled with visitor numbers.

The second part of the trip was trekking to Everest Base Camp via remote villages and photographing the local life. The Sherpa culture is still strong in the Himalayas and without their knowledge of the mountains the success rate of western expeditions would be very small. It was my first time to Nepal so I wanted to dig a little deeper than the common tourist snap and come away with some strong work I can put together as a photo story. I am already working on getting back to the Himalayas, I have been talking with some organisations and planning how we can work together to document some of their work in the Himalayas.

What type of projects do you see yourself wanting to capture in the future?

My goals are to keep pushing my way into shooting the interesting stories, wildlife conservation, cultural and adventure type features, ideally commissioned assignments from magazines, organisations and agencies. Similar to the Tasmanian devil and Nepal documentary work. I especially want to get back in the Himalayas, after my first trip there I knew it wasn’t the last.

http://www.heathholdenphotography.com/

References

Lyford, Amy, 2005. “Stan Honda: An Interview.” Visual resources 21 (2): 147-154.

Accessed: 16/03/17

http://hy8fy9jj4b.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fsummon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Stan+Honda%3A+An+Interview&rft.jtitle=Visual+Resources&rft.au=Lyford%2C+Amy&rft.au=Payne%2C+Carol&rft.date=2005-06-01&rft.pub=Taylor+%26+Francis+Group&rft.issn=0197-3762&rft.eissn=1477-2809&rft.volume=21&rft.issue=2&rft.spage=147&rft_id=info:doi/10.1080%2F01973760500074158&rft.externalDocID=9658730&paramdict=en-AU

Mason, John Edwin,2014. “An interview with George Hallett.” Social dynamics 40 (1): 199-214. doi: 10.1080/02533952.2014.896116

Meir Wigoder, 2016. “Revisiting the Oslo Peace Process and the Intifada.” Journalism 5 (4): 500-518. doi: 10.1177/1464884904044207

Meiselas, Susan and Stutesman, Drake, 2010. “Connectivity: An Interview with Susan Meiselas.” The Journal of Cinema and Media 51 (1): 61-79.

Accessed: 16/03/17

http://www.jstor.org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/stable/41552567?pq-origsite=summon&seq=3#page_scan_tab_contents

Christian Nimri

 

The Argus’ Holly Knight interviews Christian Nimri, who works as a freelancer photographer, covering; events, portraiture, music, and fashion, whilst also studying photo media at Griffith. Holly asks Nimri about his personal style and the impact of social media on photography as a career choice.

 
 

How did you get into photography?

My whole life I’ve enjoyed photography, mostly street photography. I did some graphic design on forums and would occasionally find some really, really nice photos people have taken. I would roam the albums of Flickr and Photobucket going through street, portrait, and concept art. Though I mainly started when I was creating Youtube videos (I know… so embarrassing). One day I posted a photo I took and people actually liked it, the rest is history.

What is your photographic style?

Over time my style has transformed constantly and to be honest, I’m still trying to figure out something that I can stick to, and develop into my own. I can say right now my main styles are Events, Music, Fashion, and Portraits. Especially with portraits, I love to emulate the look of film. Though I’d really like to better my skills with concept photography.

 
 

Where do you get inspiration?

I follow a bunch of Facebook groups and photo forums (Flickr, 500px, etc…) that bring a lot of inspiration to my work. There are so many communities that are so positive and help you progress much faster through proper critique. However, my biggest inspiration is a friend from Melbourne, Jackson Grant. He mostly does wedding photography, his editing and continuous progression of style is something that gets me to do the same.

I’ve known Jackson for years, so we’ve both had the opportunity to see each other develop and progressively become stronger in our fields.


What do you want to say through your photographs, and how do you do to achieve this?

A funny thing I’ve noticed, previously I never had a story behind my photographs. I would just go out and shoot and see what I can come up with. The past me would think the ‘in the moment’ an improvised photo shoot. Now it’s different; my photographs can have themes, stories, emotions, previously thought out. I want my photographs to tell people the story of the subject.

For example, the photo of my father and my grandmother shows the trial and struggle behind being a caretaker. It’s an all-day, all night gig.

In my music photography, the passion behind the artist and how they’re performing. It’s a whole self-image that their performance is creating.

 

 
 

If you could only shoot one thing for the rest of your career what would it be?

Festivals and music for sure!

It’s so exhilarating. Especially as I’m a massive fan of a lot of the musicians I photograph - it’s a win-win. There is also something about being amidst the action and having to fight for the best area, photo pits are bloodbaths!

As well as music photography being so much more. You get to go to music festivals, concerts, and if you’re good enough or know the right person, travel with the bands. It’s all a memorable experience, I can retell the stories of every single shooting experience I’ve had with music.

Do you think that with the current age of social media and selfies that photography as a profession is losing traction?

I don’t think it’s losing traction. As a profession it’s becoming a lot more mainstream, however, it’s still got the grit behind it. Like you can’t just purchase a camera and start taking self-portraits and have it automatically become your job. There’s so much work that goes behind successful photography businesses and personalities. Especially those built through social media. Social media is bittersweet, it’s given selfies and narcissism a big pay rise- but that doesn’t halt photography as a profession.

 
 

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

Hopefully graduated, that’s for sure, ha! In all seriousness, I’d really like to see myself being able to travel for photography. I’ve been getting into fashion, but also very well integrated into the music scene. It’ll be some blood, sweat, and tears, but it’ll be worth it later.

 
 
 

Eliot Dudik

 

The Argus’ Magnus Westerlund interviews photographer and storyteller Eliot
Dudik about his work. Giving an insider look on how he creates his content.

 
 

Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from many places, I teach photography at The College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia. So much (of my) inspiration comes from my students and colleagues there. I surround myself with a non-stop deluge of imagery from the past and works currently being created. I do a lot of research by way of, art books that I enjoy dissecting. In terms of problems, the artist faces and how they went about forging a path toward completion.

 

How do you find your stories?

When I'm not driving, I'm running from task to task without much time to ruminate. But once I'm on the road, I have the time and space to pick through all sorts of things that have been coming in and out of my consciousness. I'll dissect an idea while I'm driving, from start to 1000 finishes. And often by the time I step out of the vehicle, I'll have the motivation and initial direction to create.

 

What do you look for in the stories?
Nothing specific, other than questions that I don't already have answers to.

 

 
 

What made you want to be a photographer?

I suppose it was the realization that photography holds the potential to communicate ideas, to change the way people think and understand the world. It can be a difficult but rewarding endeavour.

 

How long have you been doing this?

About 16 years

 

How many stories have you done?

I've done about 11 projects, published 7 books, including 2 collaborative projects/books.

 

Where do you go to get your stories?

I go wherever the story takes me. So far that has been through 49 of the 50 States (U.S.A). I'm anxious to start looking outside The United States, but thus far I've remained very busy exploring and trying to make sense of cultures, history, and current circumstances within the U.S. I've gone back and forth on whether I need to better understand cultures at home in order to understand cultures abroad, or whether traveling outside the U.S. and trying to understand other cultures would help me understand my home.

Australia is one place I'm excited to explore one day.

 

Ilana Rose

The Argus’ Alexandra Gonzalez-Mendoza interviews photographer Ilana Rose about her career covering social justice work with organisations such as World Vision.

Alexandra: As a teenager, what inspired you to begin taking photographs? Aside from the idea of being able to capture a moment in time.
Ilana:

I have had photography all around me from a young age. My father and my uncle were both keen amateurs. They both had all the gear, so it was just happening around me all the time. I loved looking through all the old photographs and trying to imagine the stories behind them, so I had a keen interest from early on.

I was fortunate that my Dad bought me a nice camera when I was 12 or 13, I managed to learn how to use it all. I think that’s what started it. Also, my mother was a painter and I could never really paint or draw, so it [photography] was my way to express myself and show my world.

Times Square, New York

Signs of the Times – Ilana Rose

A: When did you start to delve into video?
I:

It was my minor at university, and I was really fortunate we had some amazing teachers back then who went on to become really well known film directors – so one of them was John Ruane who did a famous one called ‘Death in Brunswick’, and we also had Paul Cox who was sort of still just on the edge of leaving Prahan [College of Advanced Education – known as Victorian College] then so it was at the time that he was bringing out one of his really big movies.

So the interest was there, I was taught really young, but then it sort of got packaged away and I only did photography. In the early 2000’s there was much more of a need for producing multimedia pieces. I think the first really big multimedia piece I did was for SBS.

It’s just that thing about being a jack-of-all trades these days and having a really good eye and also for me having that technical understanding from university made it a really easy jump. Then of course with my work with World Vision there were often these very small teams. So again you just have to do a bit of absolutely everything. And a large portion of my work was often used as multimedia which involved combining my video and stills to tell the stories. But again I find it pretty easy to jump across [mediums], watching videographers they seem to have more trouble taking stills I think.

Backstage with Tina Arena as she prepares for her performance in “Cabarat” at the State Theatre in Sydney

Backstage with Tina Arena – Ilana Rose (2002)

A: Have you ever had issues turning down potential projects? If so, what is the hardest aspect of it?
I:

No, the only issues have been that I’ve had too much workload. Having always been a freelancer, before World Vision, you just take on everything and then work it out later. I think that has been of great benefit to me.

As I’m really diverse in what I can shoot and it’s definitely an advantage, I’m pretty comfortable in all areas. I never turned down a job, unless I just couldn’t physically manage it or wasn’t available.

Valiant Ron with one of his 8 Valiants, Ararat, Victoria

Valiant Ron – Ilana Rose (2007)

A: You’ve clearly completed many projects over the years, what are some of the most impactful or meaningful to you?
I:

Well I was looking at this question and thinking, “it’s like asking to pick your favourite child”, they’re all incredibly impactful and meaningful when you’re actually in the process of creating the work. In the past I used to spend huge amounts of time on anyone project.

The first one that comes to mind was a documentation on everything in Melbourne – the train gangs, the graffiti artists. That was at the beginning of the 90’s and it was my first major magazine piece. It’s that whole thing about spending the time building trust to be able to get good imagery and the understanding of it.

When I was a UK correspondent I did an impactful [story] on the child leukaemia death rate in Sellafield in England. That was absolutely horrendous. Not only were there well above the average rates of leukaemia, but they copped a lot of the Chernobyl fall out. So you couldn’t drink milk, you could have any fresh produce. People couldn’t move out of the area because they couldn’t sell the houses, it was a big story. British Nuclear Fuel tried to threaten to sue us, we had told the truth and they just weren’t happy with that.

For five years I was the inaugural photographer at The Big Issue. I did an ongoing photo essay around social justice, mostly in regards to homelessness. The project gave me a great vehicle to be able to tell people’s stories.

Then I went on and did about a 5-6 year documentation in the Indigenous unit at the justice department here in Victoria and that was all about the roll out of the Koori Court throughout Victoria. Once again amazing programs that the justice department were doing, with the support of the then Attorney General Rob Hulls. I felt really privileged to meet everyone, get to know their stories and be able to represent them and give them voice. Again having the opportunity to meet the community and collaborate with them, in order to give the general public a better understanding of issues. Particularly social justice issues which are pertinent at the moment. Visiting things like youth detention centres and farms that they were putting the youth in, to avoid [them] going to jail.

The work that I did with World Vision was incredibly impactful. In 2014 I covered the 10th anniversary of the tsunami and travelled with the CEO Tim Costello to Sri Lanka and Banda Aceh, looked at the programs and how the people recovered in the last 10 years.

With the Weekend Australian Magazine, I did a Rwandan story about the 20th anniversary of the genocide. Again the stories were just heartbreaking and the recovery was really slow.

Then I went to Ethiopia and did a story about the 30th anniversary of the famine, that was actually a really uplifting and positive story. It was lush, it was green and the people were empowered – they had an understanding. I have no doubt that Ethiopia are more prepared now with much better knowledge of water supply and planting. Along with the support of organisations like World Vision and other NGOs (non-government organisations). I think there’s huge gains that are being made.

The hardest story of that year was when I went to South Sudan, again for the Weekend Australian Magazine. South Sudan, it’s just an absolute tragedy, it’s our youngest country only 5 years old and the civil war has been raging for almost all of those 5 years. Everyone’s got so much attention on Syria, that there’s not a lot of concentration on South Sudan. There’s atrocities being made against the people and I met many unaccompanied children it was devastating.

Rachel and volunteer teacher Mary both refugees from war-torn South Sudan, skip in the safety of the Child Friendly Space in Adjumani in Northern

Rachel and Mary – Ilana Rose (2015)

But when I was there, I think one of the saddest things was when I went into the university, which was just this magnificent building and it looked completely trashed. You’d see things like student ID cards on the floor and all the exam papers and it really brought home, the huge loss that South Sudan were going to face in losing all of that education, I found that devastating.

South Sudan, Juba PoC (Protection of Civilians)

You only live once – Ilana Rose (2014)

I visited a lot of different refugee camps, there’re called POCs (Protection of Civilian camps). The circumstances that people were living in, the fact they didn’t know where any of their family were and they couldn’t see any future, it was devastating.

A: How do you handle coming back from locations like Africa, Indonesia, and South America, when there is just so much going on and it can be quite a shock when returning back?
I:

I think, I wouldn’t have done as well earlier in my career. When I’m in the moment, I tend to be able to do my work. It’s finding the way into the story, and listening, and being respectful to people. I always feel that what I’m doing is really positive, so I feel that it’s my job to be able to tell people’s stories.

When I get home we would often do post trip counselling. I’m really verbal, so I talk things out a lot. When I come back it’s really difficult for my family, because I’m quite dislocated. I’m used to working 20 hour days and being on the move and having my head elsewhere, so I think that’s hard for my family.

Because you’re moving so fast, when you get back as there’s so much work to do the moment you hit the ground, it’s not until weeks after that you actually get the opportunity to reflect what you’ve seen and done, and put it into perspective and just be hopeful that every little bit [you do] can help in some way.

A: When did you discover that you had a passion for social justice issues and giving a voice to people who would probably not have any, and how did you begin to enter that area of photography?
I:

Well I think I’ve always been attracted in the unseen. So in my early twenties, I was really into documenting youth culture and subculture.
I was really interested in telling stories of what I thought were amazing artistic accomplishments, like with the train gangs, which were driven about community – similar with skateboarding. And I loved all the fashion and everything that goes with subculture – the combination of music and all of those things.

Skate bowl in outer suburban Melbourne 1990

Skate – Ilana Rose (1990)

When I was a foreign correspondent in England I had never seen homelessness like that before, it was completely shocking and unbelievable. It wasn’t long after I returned to Australia, I became involved with The Big Issue. Down in Melbourne people were being sacked from their jobs and there was all of these people that were all of a sudden finding themselves in really hard predicaments. The mainstream press just wasn’t picking it up, so basically I just made it a bit of a mission. I think it’s just what I’m interested in, if you see something that you don’t know much about, it’s that curiosity to know more. And I figure that if I’m curious and want to know more I think other people will be.

Hoopaholic Bunny Hoopstar, Bondi, Sydney

Bunny Hoopstar – Ilana Rose (2010)

A: Do you collaborate with other photographers on projects?
I:

Not very often, it’s a pretty solo enterprise. There’s a group in Melbourne called MAPgroup (Many Australian Photographers). A good friend of mine started that up, his name is Andrew Chapman and he’s just the most amazing person just to bring photographers together.
I was a part of a big project documenting a rural area of Victoria called Ararat, and a friend of his was a teacher there and the town was going into decline. Andrew gathered about 20-30 of us and we went to the town for a weekend. We pretty much did a day in the life and we donated it to the township. Then the Mayor launched an exhibition for us at the gallery and it was a fantastic collaboration but unfortunately they [collaborations] don’t happen that often.

I’ve been part of quite a few group exhibitions but in day-to-day work you tend to collaborate more with writers because a lot of my work in the past has been in mainstream print; in magazine or newspapers, collaborating or working with journalists as well.

I also worked for 10 years with a journalist and that’s how I managed to get a lot of footage. We gained a lot of ground, because we could supply both text and images at a high standard.

Motor bikes rule the roads of Hanoi, Vietnam 2010

Hanoai Motorbikes – Ilana Rose (2010)

A: Are you currently working for any news publications or organisations at the moment or do you work on your own personal documentary projects?
I:

Well I’ve always been freelance, I’ve never worked for anyone. With The Age I worked on ongoing columns and things, but I was never on staff and I never did shifts. I used to be able to go to individual editors and just pitch ideas.

I’ve never really had that relationship [in regards to working for someone], I did a lot of work with the Weekend Australian Magazine and World Vision, I have a great relationship with them.

I’m currently not working with any one organisation, I work on a personal project and then I pitch it, that’s usually how I go.

Mounted Police patrol the city early on a winters morning during the BLF blockades 1990. Story about Police horse training for The Sunday Herald Magazine

On Patrol – Ilana Rose (1990)

A: What sort of stories did you cover for welfare organisations such as The Brotherhood of St Laurence, The Smith Family and World Vision? Were they part of any awareness campaigns that the organisations held?
I:

Yeah always, so they were clients of mine and as a photographer, I would be shooting annual reports for them and brochures and publicity campaigns, all sorts of different things.

My style is pretty documentary and those sorts of agencies don’t do a lot of PR, as I said it’s much more for the annual reports and documenting.

I used to do a huge number of events, I was the Women’s Affairs photographer in Victoria for 11 years, and I used to cover talkfests and photograph speakers.

But on the other hand I also produced a lot of exhibitions for the government. For human services I did a huge documentation of the roll out and upgrade of all the homeless shelters. I was known for social justice, so I used to get a lot of social justice that work, but a lot of it ended up for exhibitions. It was the same with the Koori work that I did, I ended up having an 80 photograph show in Federation Square, here in Melbourne, for Reconciliation Day. The Koori work was 5 or 6 years of documenting.

It was wonderful to get public conversations happening. As well as engage the community, so that they gained understanding. Having the visuals was just such a great connector that way.

A: I really loved your images from when you captured women of the world which was featured in Vice. How long did that work for World Vision go for? What were some of the common problems that would pop up throughout your journey photographing?
I:

I did 14 trips, basically to everywhere that you can think of, whether it was for media jobs or campaigns or social media trips. But really what struck me as I travelled around was the strength and integrity of the women, the way they held their families together. In 2012 I had a show on at Head On Photo Festival, I wanted to be able to again tell these people’s stories.

The thing that I was most passionate about, was women being the pillars in their community, the ones that held it together. The amazing women that I met, just had so much strength while living in the harshest circumstances you can possibly imagine, looking after their families.

It was something that as a mother I could relate too, because my child was about the same age as the children I was photographing. It was just incredible, especially to have that bond, between myself and these women, and that depth of understanding. Not that you could ever understand what they go through.

But once again a lot of the things they talked about, the worries for their children’s future and education were things that just all Australians can identify with.
So it’s just a massive picture-editing job, just going back and thinking about all these incredible people, then putting it together as a cohesive story. The entire project happened over four years.

South Sudan,

Refugee Camp South Sudan – Ilana Rose/World Vision (2014)

In a lot of countries the common problems the people faced included lack of food, lack of water, education, and gender issues. I was in India not long after a horrible rape case. So talking to women about the challenges there, and talking to women that were HIV+ and had lived in villages that had been prostituted for generations. How they changed the way the men think and in fact how the women themselves think.

So gender issues are a big issue along with maternal and child health, trying to stop children dying under [the age of] 5. Education overall was a big one too. It was surprising that you’d go to a lot of places and the environment was so harsh that they couldn’t grow vegetables, they didn’t understand the importance of balanced meals or they couldn’t get anything. Trying to get your head around why people in Peru eat Guinea Pigs is a hard one.

But there’s no meat in these countries, they’re deadly poor. Deforestation and what people have done to the environment, becomes quite apparent when you start going into these third world countries. And you start realising that because of the deforestation nothing grows, the rain run-off is shocking and has damaged the land. A lot of countries like Indonesia still do mass burning.

It’s actually quite scary when you start adding up all the problems.

A: If you could give some advice to your younger self, regarding photography and multimedia, what would it be?
I:

I think the main thing for a young photographer starting off, and for me when I was starting off, was the idea of being really tenacious – following things through and being a good listener.

You need to do good research, so you know what you’re talking about. Making relationships with your subjects is really important, but you also need to get a balanced view. Therefore, you’ve got to make sure you talk to a lot of people about any issue, and I didn’t quite catch onto that until later.

Making sure that when you’re in the moment that you cover things well. Including lots of wide and close shots, things that can be utilised across all mediums. Whether it’s online or on print just having that diversity of most styles, so that you can be run in high-end magazines, but as well it can run on Facebook. Also, so that you can differentiate what sort of content you need for different applications. Another big thing is trying to collect past images, so have your [work and project] filing done in ways that you can actually keep it under control.

To an extent digital is much easier, negatives and transparency were much more difficult to handle in some ways. Also metadata, that’s the one thing I’m finding is very important now. A lot of my work has become historically important, not necessarily because they are great photographs, but as the time passes people gain interest and want to collect history.

A member of the Guardian Angels confronts crack dealers in Turk St, Tenderloin, San Fransisco, 1989 “Some critics view the Guardian Angels with suspicion, seeing them as vigilantes who like to throw their muscle around. But Tenderloin habitues say they have not felt so safe in months.”

A perspective – Ilana Rose (1989)

So, I don’t have all my information because they were just negatives. My advice now, would be to make sure any scrap of information you receive is placed into the metadata, so that you actually know and remember what you’re talking about.

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if no one else sees it, just put as much in your metadata as possible, because you might lose your journal. Just make sure you’ve got the who, what, when and why. And the other thing, backup all your information on hard drives and make sure you’ve got one [hard drive] at your mum’s as well, in case your house burns down.

Overall, you’ve got to have a strong self-belief and just be passionate.