Yesterday I’ve received the news that one of my photos from Uganda has been selected as a winner in the HIPA Instagram Competition.
I was overwhelmed and still am. After the initial comforting feelings, that were like “Holy sh!t!”, I’ve been thinking about the moment when I captured this image and decided to write a blog post. Whenever I’m applying to a photo competition and I’m carefully selecting the photos I’d like to submit, there are many things I’m considering. Does this image tells something? Does it convey emotions? Does / can it move the viewer in any way? Am I proud of this photograph? There should be several “yes” answers for me to submit that single photo. Anyway, this is the aftermath. What I’d like to write about now, is what happens before, when you are out somewhere photographing. In Uganda I was covering several, quite different, but still closely related topics. I was documenting the daily work of the Hungarian doctors in a humanitarian medical mission, the daily life in an orphanage (babies home) and the everyday lives of the people who lived around the clinic, where the doctors worked. When you are focusing on a topic or issue to cover, you constantly have to remind yourself not to miss instant moments, that might be out of the scope of your work. At least for me, I need to remind myself to do that. Or else, it’s very easy to miss moments like the one I captured in this photograph you can see above. When you’re photographing out there, “in the field”, often it’s the children who approach you the easiest. Adults might be suspicious or more careful, but children are always very open and friendly. The approach you, play around with you, drawing your attention very easily. To tell you the truth, sometimes it can be a bit exhausting, but very rewarding in the same time. The energy, the joy that’s radiating around them is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only by photographers, but by any human being. They remind us to be free, to let our emotions flow freely and thus I firmly believe that they are great teachers to us.
Photo tip: While being prepared is essential in travel photography, always keep an eye out for unexpected moments that might lead you to unusual photographic opportunities and interesting new friends. (Krista Rossow, National Geographic photographer and editor)