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Faith in What We Do

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Okay, maybe I’ll just use I, instead of plural We. Who am I, ranting about something and speak for many?

I was visiting an office where I used to be an intern. Met a photographer friend who was drowning in his own thought and suddenly asked me, “Why are we doing this? What for?”.

He’s working for a photo agency that requires him to either shoot; edit and publish photos of the day on the web for clients; and even teach students in the school also run by the agency. I sat with him for a while, trying to understand his questions. “What difference have we made with our work?” he asked again. “Have we even make any difference at all?” again he asked. “I used to believed we’re doing this to make a change, but now?” he again, asked. Those are rhetoric questions. There’ll be no single answer that can suffice him, I get that. But as someone who still (want to) believe that one should have faith in whatever he or she do, I was morally can’t just let myself easily agreed to his “why bother”-ness.

I told him that I was in a forum once, where one international famous photojournalist once said, “I no longer believe that my work can actually change the world, BUT I KNOW that the works (his) still take parts in the process of it. Changing the world”. I think that is the most reasonable answer available.

Photojournalists, in my opinion, (should) have some creative sense. We don’t need to present only beautiful things in the world, because that would be a total lie. But we do need to creatively engage our audience, drawn them to the work, so that they can have a say on it. So they can be moved. And in the end, they can be part in changing the world. But on the downsides, every people that involve in creative field, would always end up doubting themselves and their own works. It’s bad enough that photojournalists often have no confidence in presenting their work to the world as if they not (ever) good enough, whats worse would be, that every now and then they have to doubt themselves on whether or not their work even matter.

I recently propose a story to a magazine. Big hot shot magazine. The editor said he loves it, he thinks it was a great set of photos and story, but too bad it doesn’t cut out for the magazine. He suggested me to aim higher and propose it to other international publication. So I send the emails to other editors. But they still stood me up.

I liked that story very much. I have something for others to see, know and understand from my perspective, while still report it as it is. I also think it is somewhat important, and interesting. But seems like not everyone share the same idea. Am I bitching about it, right now? Not really. I’m just upset. I worked hard for a week, convincing strangers to let me into their homes, and their friends and families, walked for miles away to cut the expensive taxi fees for this story. And yet I can’t publish it because I can’t find a media who wants it. Sheryl Crow sang, first cut is the deepest. But The Passenger was right, that the rest still flipping hurt.

So here I am, listing more medias who might want the story, because though I often raised in my head, the same questions as my photographer friend, but I STILL HAVE FAITH IN WHAT I DO. I’m not gonna give up. I have more stories to show and tell, and I won’t give up on them either. Let others find me pathetic, I know sometimes I feel that way. But having faith in what we do, is SOMETHING, right? … Right?

Tan Thach (jumping) learns Parkour solely from youtube, and practice every morning in parks of Hanoi, Vietnam, because he has a dream to be an actor with specialty of Parkour acrobatic moves, even though his family and society gave him a frowned upon.

Tan Thach (jumping) learns Parkour solely from youtube, and practice every morning in parks of Hanoi, Vietnam, because he has a dream to be an actor with specialty of Parkour acrobatic moves, even though his family and society gave him a frowned upon.

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Written by nickmatulhuda

July 31, 2014 at 8:50 pm

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