One of the most common questions I get asked is “What is Humanitarian Photography?”. I’ll try and answer that here, but bear in mind that my definition will most likely differ from that of others.
First, we need to recognise what I understand the word ‘Humanitarian’ to mean;
1) As an adjective: having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
2) As a Noun: the doctrine that humanity’s obligations are concerned wholly with the welfare of the human race.
So how does this work into a branch of Photography? Easy, it is the field of Photography that caters exclusively to those organisations, projects and media who’s chief concern comes under the above descriptions. Where do I fit in? Let me tell you.
My journey into Humanitarian Photography has been a long one. I have long been concerned with Humanitarian issues around the World – a concern that is very much informed by my Christian Faith. Previously, I worked as a Youth Pastor and was involved with local and national Church in many campaigns and events – Jubilee 200, Make Poverty History to name but a couple.I am motivated in this field by a desire to see justice brought to everyone, everywhere. To be able to share the story of those who would otherwise have no voice. To bring to the World an understanding of situations of injustice and of need wherever they exist – at home or abroad.
When I first developed an interest in photography, it coincided with a trip to Israel/ Palestine where, although my photography was no where near as technically competent as it is now, I first experienced being able to use my photographic voice to share the story of groups of people who had no voice. Since then, I have had the opportunity to visit Nepal, Pakistan and Morocco to share stories of people and NGO’s in these places, as well as to develop my photographic voice. I have also enjoyed many opportunities to work with NGO’s in the UK, both on local projects and on national campaigns. I look forward to sharing more with you on this blog, I’ll leave you now with a snapshot of my work – more examples can be found in the Galleries on this website.