The privilege of being a photographer
I recently had the privilege of travelling to Haiti, to see the work of the child sponsorship organisation "Compassion" first hand. I travelled with my 15-year-old son and a group of sponsors from Australia. it was a wonderful opportunity to see our 2 sponsor children, and see the difference that sponsoring a child makes in the lives of the community, the family and the child. I can truly say that it was an amazing experience, and I have learnt just how valuable my little contributions are to the lives of those who have little in the world.
During the trip, I was torn between being a photographer, a dad and participant with what was happening. There is a difference when you approach travel like this trip to Haiti, from the perspective of being a photographer, as opposed being a participant. As a photographer you are looking at how you can best capture the scene, to convey the emotion and how you can craft the lighting to create the best possible image. However, at times it is best to stop being the photographer and become a participant in the experience, and only pick up the camera just to capture a few pictures to memorialise the experience. I made a conscience decision to not be the photographer on this trip, but rather, to help my son make the most of the experience and for myself to gain a deeper understanding on the complexities of what life is like living in poverty.
As a photographer often there are times when you have a great privilege in capturing moments of great importance, of special memories for people and during times of change. This is the privilege of being a photographer. This privilege is something that we should not take for granted, but something that we should respect and treat with care. As a photographer never forget that what you are doing can change the world with an image.
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