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If you’re a working photojournalist, especially who works daily, you must be familiar with the similar feeling of a soothing breeze when you see your pictures printed on the headline of today’s paper. Those sweats, tears and annoying circumstances you must encountered yesterday to get the picture, are paid off. For a minute, you even forget how small your salary is [for most people, that is].. When the proof of your existence and hard work is right there! Published!

It’s a privilege that is kinda hard for me at the moment. Now that I focused more on documentary projects, and non-hard news works. It’s not impossible, but  I dont see any of my work is heading to the headlines right now.

It’s heading somewhere else..

Shooting a story [that are self-sponsored] is one thing. Getting it to a larger audience outside my friends and family circles, is another hardwork. I cant just post it on facebook to get as many as those LIKE buttons, the picture could get. A, I dont have a facebook account, and B, facebook is just not the right media for photojournalist wanting to make a change with what you do best.

Partly, this is how website helps. And the other part is connections you’ve built and having your previous works published in different media in the past.

Two new media called me few months back and asked me to send them a story to be published. The first one was Strategic Review Indonesia, and the other was Tabloid Prioritas. I couldnt really offer them entirely new-fresh from the oven kind of story, since I havent really go out and shoot the second half of the year 2011. (It’s because am saving for a looooong trip this year!) But they didnt mind, as long as I can give them pictures that havent been published, and a story with certain impacts for their readers.

This is when the efforts in seeing a place, an event or a story in more than one perspective, can actually do you good!

Asmat and India-in-Indonesia stories are not new. I already have that story about daily life of Asmat printed in TEMPO magazine English Edition back in February 2011, and India Tamil community in Medan has been published in Travelounge in December 2010. But as I managed to give the other two media another angle of stories, it worked just fine… The key is, I didnt just give them another set of picture, instead, I was honest that the similar story has been published, but I can give them a whole new story, either by generalized the story, or specified it.

Tabloid Prioritas is a new media prepared to support a certain political party for 2014 election. And now, they want me to prepare a photo story for their FIRST EDITION!

Basically from where I see it, it is important for them to have stories that showing how the current government is just not good enough. So, I specified my story and just focused on the children of Asmat. Whilst the ones published in TEMPO English Edition was about the Wooden Life of Asmat – something that is quite more general.

On the contrary with Strategic Review Indonesia, which has tagline, The Indonesian Journal of Leadership, Policy and World Affairs. And quoting the Editor in Chief’s note, “We are committed to the maintenance of a public forum that includes the top names in academic research, think tanks, major institutions and governments to push the debate on the essential questions that confront Indonesia..”.

When I offered them a few sets of stories, they picked the India-in-Indonesia. Last year, Travelounge had the more specific story about Navarathri, an event took place in Medan. SR-Indonesia in this case, get the wider perspective about how diverse Indonesians can be, and how beautiful diversity is. Even the Senior Editor claimed to felt surprised when she saw the story which now made her know about the India-Tamil community existence, here in Indonesia. One of her favorite picture was the one where a Hindu devotee poured a carton of milk -Ultra Jaya milk, which is very Indonesian- on -a very Indian colour- Gods figure.

Now, my sense of that breeze-like feeling would be when I managed to get my stories published to many kinds of readers, and able to serve the needs of different media, from just a theme of story, but by providing them another angle and make it as if its a whole new story. And doing that, without compromising the quality, which means, I dont just gave them another set of pictures that didnt make it on the first selection of the first publication. Instead, the same quality sets of images to create a different story from the same source.

And what makes it even better was to know, that I didnt offer them, but it was them who came to me and asked. Now that’s when I know, all my hard work in doing the research, self funds the story, build the website to showcase my best works, are now paid off..

Thank you so very much, Hera Diani (SR-Indonesia) and Budi Yanto (Prioritas) for the chance given. And thank you for making me feel good, at the beginning of a new year. Have a great year of 2012, y’all!

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Written by nickmatulhuda

January 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Great blog Mba’ Eka, just found out 🙂

    Muhammad Fadli

    January 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    • Thank you! Hope you can find useful things here. And I love your works too! Keep up the good work!! Syemangattss

      nickmatulhuda

      January 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm


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