Amir Cohen

Amir Cohen

Based
Ashkelon, Israel
Born
Ashkelon, Israel
Status
Photographer
Camera
Canon 5D Mark III, 1D Mark IV
“I just try to be honest about the people I photograph and the way I show reality.”

Beat

I mostly cover news, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, military issues, politics, religion and daily life stories.

One Shot

. ASHKELON, Israel. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Surfers wait to catch a wave in the Mediterranean Sea as it rains in Israel's southern city of Ashkelon.
“The sea fascinates me, especially in winter, and I spend most of my free time by it. I like this image in particular because it reminds me of how small we all are.”

Profile

One of my first memories of photography comes from when I was 16 and with my first girlfriend. I sat her on a sycamore tree, and photographed her with a rangefinder camera loaded with black and white film. We were in love, and it was a beautiful experience.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved art and painting, especially when it is realistic. From there, I found myself falling in love with photography quite naturally, and so I collected books about it and taught myself how to use a camera over the years. I went on to complete a degree in photography at a college in southern Israel in 2005.

My first assignment was covering Israel’s 2005 disengagement plan from the Gaza strip, when Israeli settlements and military bases were unilaterally evacuated. As someone who continues to live through the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it was clear to me that I would cover this story, which unfolded just five miles from my home. While working on the piece, I was exposed to some difficult scenes of people refusing to leave their houses and being forcibly evacuated. I was inspired by some of the things I saw, without judging whether they were right or wrong.

I don’t think that there is one assignment in particular that has really affected me. But I can say that when you’re living in a place where peace can be replaced by war in an instant every few months, you cannot remain indifferent.

Any story that involves people excites me; I want to be able to tell their stories through photographs. And I hope the pictures I take are relevant to audiences everywhere.

Journalism can be aggressive sometimes, but I just try to be honest about the people I photograph and the way I show reality.

Behind the Scenes

. Nitzana, Israel. Roy Mizrahi
Reuters photographer Amir Cohen takes pictures of floods in the Negev desert near Nitzana, southern Israel.