Imagine your daily newspaper or magazine without images, your television news broadcast without a stitch of the video. Photos are known to create an impact to the extent that they can persuade audiences. These images have a different approach and can’t be termed as an act of Photography.
Photojournalism is a branch of photography that uses the power of visuals to communicate a story. It has factors that differentiate itself from other forms of photography. This form is usually considered an effective way of communicating/disseminating information or telling stories to a diverse audience. Photos are considered visually appealing and compelling as compared to plain texts or articles.
A person who practices photojournalism is known as a photojournalist. A photojournalist's job is to tell a story with pictures. Their works get covered in publications, stand-alone features, etc. Photoblog serves as an important tool for them as their work is able to digitally penetrate and reach a larger set of audience. The job is no cakewalk, often photojournalists risk injury to document newsworthy events.
The power of photojournalism as a mass communication tool can be traced back to World War II when the photos taken then gave the readers across the world a sense of what was happening the world away. Today’s publication uses pictures not to just tell a story, but to create a connection with the public. Just like citizen journalism, photojournalism today is not restricted to photojournalists anymore. With the development of affordable and advanced camera equipment and the internet, photojournalism has paved its way among the masses with photos flooded across various social networking sites, instant messaging applications and blogs.
GMB Akash is one of the famous photojournalists in the world. He is considered to be the first photojournalist from Bangladesh who threw light on the harsh living conditions of Bangladeshis. Growing up in a developing country filled with millions of impoverished people and abused children, GMB Akash had access to the darkest corner of the world for which he was passionate. He actively captures various shades of the place and posts it on Facebook, his blog (https://gmbakash.wordpress.com/profile/) and on Instagram and many other digital platforms. Talking about his profession he states that “Today, I count myself blessed, having become a photographer. To be able to articulate the experiences of the voiceless, to bring their identity to the forefront, gives meaning and purpose to my own life”. His work has covered sensitive areas like child abuse, prostitution, the condition of the patients in the asylums, etc. He has received 80 international awards, some highly prestigious awards like the first Bangladeshi to win The Young Reporters Award from the Scope Photo Festival in Paris (2004), World Press Photo Award (2009). His work has been featured in around 80 international publications like National Geographic, Vogue, Time, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and The Sunday Times.
Henri Cartier, Dorothea Lange, David Burnett, Philip Jones Griffith are some of the other few famous Photojournalists. Many of them are known to have risked their lives while some sought psychological help due to the events they had to witness in their lifetime. The code of ethics for photojournalist’s state they shall only document the event and shall not step in at an event of a crisis, they shall not help the victim, they shall not touch the subject, in short, and there is no space for personal emotions.