Lam Yik

Lam Yik

Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong, China
“Photography gives us freedom -- it can always transport people anywhere, give them fantasy or the truth about the world.”


I cover politics and business news, features and documentaries. Stories about human life have always interested me.

One Shot

. Hong Kong, China. Reuters/Lam Yik
Supporters gesture towards a prison van outside the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts, after the court hearing of pro-democracy activists over charges related to the national security law, in Hong Kong, China.
“This scene has become the norm in Hong Kong. Many people get put in jail and their supporters show up to bid farewell to the prison van carrying them away. This image is so important to me because I can see the determination some people carry, they never give up their faith even on the darkest day.”


I am a self-taught photographer. My first camera was given to me by my uncle when I was 11. I carried it around everywhere to explore the community.

Filled with an aspiration to record the story of society, I believe everyone has their own stories to tell. Observing and understanding is the key to reaching these people.

My first assignment was to cover the social unrest around the government complex in Admiralty, Hong Kong on June 12, 2019. The police force escalated from using pepper spray to tear gas and rubber bullets. I was not well-prepared for the hazards, although I was equipped with a helmet and gas mask. I was also filled with empathy for the protesters, which made me feel weak and helpless. During subsequent assignments, I tried to be more detached from the events I was covering.

The first day of the trial of the 47 pro-democracy politicians facing charges related to the National Security Law touched me greatly, as thousands gathered outside the court to support them.

As we have the ability to capture the moment, photojournalists also have the responsibility to report the truth, to show the world what is happening in the place we care a lot about.

While I was covering the protests in Hong Kong against the amendments to the extradition law in 2019, I got shot by the police with a pepper ball gun, as I was trying to take a picture of them arresting a protester. I learned one thing from the incident, that you have to be sensible when assessing the risks around you, even when you may think you are trying to get an important picture. If you want to make a contribution, safety is the first priority. You can’t keep reporting if you get hurt. It’s essential to take pictures with a kind heart and a rational brain.

I have great respect for Margaret Bourke-White. She demonstrated great courage to become a female photojournalist in her era, and broke the ceiling with her talent.

Behind the Scenes

. Hong Kong, China. Wong Chi-lam
Reuters photographer Lam Yik covers a protest while on assignment in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.