Photojournalism – The risks involved.

Saigon, 1968 by Eddie Adams
Saigon, 1968 by Eddie Adams

Photojournalism can be an exciting career where one gets to witness different important events first hand. Although exciting, people have to say that it can be considered as one of the most dangerous jobs due to the various risk factors involved. This job is not meant for the faint hearted and is dangerous because a photojournalist may have to go and document any kind of event. Here are some reasons why one needs to think more than twice before taking up this as a profession.

  • They can get exposed to any kind of photography – right from photographing an active volcano to a war in any part of the world. The task is to get the right picture by risking your life without any kind of security.
  • Photojournalists can fall an easy prey to various diseases or an epidemic or chemical radiations while they go and photograph that situation. In such situations, if they get infected, doctors prefer treating the people living in that place first.
  • They can get caught in any kind of protests and even get heavily injured if something goes wrong and they are not using precautionary measures.
  • There are times when a natural calamity has taken place and photojournalists need to go and capture the ongoing situation (of the people) at that place. The risk is that the chances of that calamity occurring at the same place again is very high and no one can be held responsible for sending a person as a photojournalist there. Example: Nepal 2015 earthquake or the 2006 Tsunami.
  • There was a time when during a tense situation, the danger of being blown or being shot existed. But now, the person can also be kidnapped which is worse than the other two because kidnapping can lead to torture and killing – both.
  • Death and injury are two most common parts of this job and not everyone is really used to it. Witnessing these two regularly can take a toll on the person’s health and can even lead to falling sick, anxiety and depression.
  • If a person is working as a photojournalist in an agency, he may either have work piled up continuously or no work at all for sometime. However, when the person is called in the need of the hour, he has to leave for the task, without having a room for much excuses.
  • Lastly, a photojournalist needs to understand the risk he might be going through at time and also needs to make his near ones aware of the risks he is going to undertake. Most importantly, the person requires a great amount of dedication and sense of timing while getting the best shot.

 

Photojournalism might not always be about risks but the probability of getting caught up in a dangerous situation is always there. This might be an interesting career but in the end what really matters is the subject of the photograph and appreciation for it.

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