News, human rights and women
My uncle gave me a Nikon D200 after graduating high school. I took pictures of my family, friends, plants in our home, little figurines—everything. I learned by flipping through my uncle’s stash of Newsweek and TIME magazines. In college, I took up Communication Arts and applied for all photography courses available.
It was in college when I realized that photos aren’t just beautiful images. They could be powerful, impactful—tools that could spark movement or change. Knowing that, along with the sheer excitement of meeting people and seeing places beyond my comfort zone, was what pushed me to pursue photojournalism.
My first assignment was to shoot preparations for Eidl Fitr in a Muslim community in Manila. I was both scared and excited coming in the community that I wasn’t familiar with. It was my first time in the area so I walked around trying to blend in. I stayed until the light turned pink from the sunset, and took pictures of kids falling in line for food after their fast, the iftar.
Any story that brings me to a place I haven’t been really excites me. But I’m especially drawn to stories on human rights, because I know these stories could potentially impact many people’s lives.
It is crucial for photojournalists to produce images that capture important moments in our society as accurately as possible. It will be these images that future generations will look back to learn about their own history, and how their communities were shaped.
I always strive to produce images that my own subjects would appreciate and understand. It is their stories after all.
Expose yourself to the work of other photographers, not just from your circle. Expose yourself to photos from other cultures, religions, and race. It doesn’t matter if their work is not your type, or if their photos are not your style. You will almost always pick up something useful.
I really admire photographer Ami Vitale because of how her passion and dedication reflects in her work. Highly respect Daniella Zalcman as well who has been giving women photographers around the globe a platform in this dominantly-male industry.