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It’s Only Business

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“I feel sorry for him. Heard he’s pretty shocked with the news. Man, he got kids!”

It was my friend’s words of expression when he told me about the news of our two colleagues, both pjs who used to work for Reuters. They got sacked from a place where they have been working for years. Ever since the global recession, I had a feeling that it’s only a matter of time.

Indonesia is no longer sexy in news. Few bombings here and there, no longer draw the world’s attention. The last Merapi eruption was both beautiful and tragic, but the bang wasn’t big enough to affect the world economy. Not many media in the world who cared, although Kemal Jufri won a World Press Award for that. The way all eyes are on the Middle East and Japan, were the way they were on Indonesia during huge protest in 1998 and tsunami in Aceh at the end of 2005.

I personally refused to have another tsunami or any other natural disaster to make the eyes are on us once more. No! There had been so many victims, many children lost their parents, also many parents who need to accept the fact their children’s body will never be found, and families being forced to make shelters as their home sweet home.

We have also tired with the games in politics, endless corruptions, stupid people in their thrones and criminals playing saints. But do we really prepared ourselves for revolution? We just hope for God to shine a light on them and open their minds and hearts. For jails are no longer a threat for the bad guys.

So? what to do? Should the term bad news is good news, remain? And we continue to expect them just to get more money in?

Read an interesting article last night,

Keep in mind that the reason many photographers are still taking photos and still hanging on is that they haven’t been able to identify any better options for making a living. They were trained to do one thing and aren’t prepared to do anything else.

— read more here.

My two colleagues, were not pjs before they joined Reuters. One of them in fact, used to work in cruise ships. Traveling around the world in his earlier days, before snapping pix for local magazines, prior working for the international news agency. The other one owns an outdoor equipment shop which actually quite successful. But their pride, of course, are working as a photojournalist in the agency. Again, it’s true — photography is a lifestyle, not a job. (Also read my previous post : We’re Photojournalists, but It’s Not Our Bread and Butter)

I told my friend, who shared me the news about them, that am sure for Thomson Reuters, it’s nothing personal to let them go. It’s only business. The budget is tight and some people must go. It’s unfortunate for them, that they were picked to go.

Few weeks back, the one who used to work in the cruise, send an email to our mailing list, forwarded an invites to do plant visit to one of Coca Cola’s factory. He used to help the company organized such event. Later on, he sent another email saying, “Correction, am no longer working for Reuters. Though the plan was made when I still worked there” — referring to the note on the invitation mentioned him as Reuters photog.

Thanks to him, me and some 20 other photographers, got the chance to shoot these images in Coca Cola Amatil, the biggest bottling plant in South East Asia, located in Cibitung, outskirt of Jakarta.

Coca Cola Amatil, the biggest bottling plant in South East Asia, located in Cibitung, outskirt of Jakarta.

I read another email from him not so long ago in the mailing list, where he writes as his email signature, “…Photojournalist and Official Photographer Coca-Cola Indonesia, Sari Husada Danone Group, Childfund”. Hmmm.. Since we cant really fight the huge business that brought us to the world of photography and able to kick us as well in the end, we should make more room for creativity and expand “our own business” as well. Tough. But better start now than sorry later.

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Written by nickmatulhuda

March 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm

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