Fallen trees lie in the shallows of Funafuti atoll, Tuvalu in 2019. Erosion of land is an inevitable consequence of life in a coral atoll nation. As sea levels rise and increased threats from storm surges and extreme weather events occur, the land of Tuvalu will increasingly become fragile and prone to erosion. © Sean Gallagher

Sean Gallagher, a British photographer who’s been based in China since 2006, has a policy that he works on one larger story every year, usually about climate change and biodiversity loss, the subjects that drive his passion as a photographer. Getting funding for that work and finding an audience for it isn’t always easy. The independence of being a freelance photographer can be liberating, but the type of reporting Gallagher does is time and resource intensive, often taking him to remote areas for weeks at a time. …


How a partnership between photographer, human rights organizations, and local activists can lead to systemic change

Banil came to the Antenatal Clinic of Port Moresby after having been sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend. The day after their separation, her former partner came to her parents’ house and, threatening her with a knife, dragged Banil to a bush area. There he beat her and raped her. Banil’s father managed to find his daughter lying unconscious on the ground and brought her to the hospital. © Vlad Sokhin

The images in Crying Meri are harrowing. There is an epidemic of violence against women in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Vlad Sokhin’s photos show both the victims’ scars and injuries as well as the perpertators’ smiles and pride about what they have done. Since his work was published internationally, both in news publications and in a book produced by FotoEvidence, legal protections for abusers and murderers have been repealed by the PNG government.

Sokhin is quick to point out that it wasn’t his…


Building a visual record of the items left behind by those killed in the Bosnian War

Items recovered from mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina — From Ziyah Gafic’s Quest for Identity

The photos in Ziyah Gafic’s Quest for Identity don’t really fit into the rest of his body of work. The images, quiet and clinical photos of objects left behind by those killed in summary executions in the Bosnian War, are a sharp contrast from the intimate and human moments that fill the stories from the rest of his 20-plus years as a documentary photographer. But looking a little more deeply at the project, it’s clear that they share a through-line common to all of his work across the globe.

A member of VII based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gafic…


How Mario Cruz’s pictures of captive children in Senegal are changing lives and legislation

Runaway talibes stand on the bank of Senegal river, in Saint Louis city, north of Senegal, May 20, 2015. Saint Louis is known as Talibe city. A city with small proportions compared to Dakar but with a large number of Talibes. Due to that many of them choose the streets instead of Daaras. © Mario Cruz

UNICEF and other organizations allege that up to 90 percent of child beggars on the streets of Senegal are enslaved, but it wasn’t until Mario Cruz’s 2015 photo series documenting talibes that direct visual evidence of the human rights abuses was available to the world outside the Koranic schools in the country. Working with a Guinea-Bissau organization called Associação dos Amigos da Criança (AMIC), Cruz found young boys chained up and forced to beg for up to eight hours a day. …


How Altaf Qadri’s photos resulted in sustained local support for students and teachers at India’s School for Less Fortunate

When photographers take pictures and tell stories, what do they hope to achieve? Some photographers are explicit about their purpose and know what they want their images to do. Others find their stories have consequences they did not imagine.

I thought it would be interesting and important to look at specific cases where, by design or not, visual stories have made a difference in the world, leaving a legacy of change for the people in the pictures.

In this first installment of what will be an ongoing series, I spoke with Altaf Qadri about his story about the School for…


What it is, what it means and what photographers can do to safeguard themselves, their data and their associates

So-called “rubber ducky” USB sticks act like ordinary storage peripherals, but can be used by an attacker to run malicious code on a targeted computer. Photographed in the “dark web room” at IBM’s Cyber Security Range in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. © M. Scott Brauer

A journalist can prepare themselves for crossing a border in one of the world’s hotspots, but losing control of your data can happen when you least expect it.

For David Degner, an American Getty Reportage photographer who has been based in Egypt for the past seven years, it happened in the Toronto airport. “I’m kind of used to living under invasive government surveillance…I keep my emails pretty clean. If I’m talking with anyone that might get in trouble with the Egyptian government, I remove it from my phone.” On a layover during a flight back to the US to visit…


Four (more) photographers share how they make ends meet

Every photographer I know has a different way of making ends meet and funding work on the projects that are important to them. Some sustain themselves on the dwindling editorial market, some seek out grants and sponsorships, some turn to commercial or other sorts of photographic work, and some find more creative solutions. In my previous piece in this series, photographers from Russia, India, Mexico, Serbia, and Nigeria shared how they make a living.

For this round, three still photographers from South Africa, Turkey, and South Korea, and a filmmaker in New York, answered a few questions about how they…


A view of the 2017 Organ Vida Festival installation at Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The 2017 edition took place in 16 locations around Zagreb. (Photo by Samir Cerić Kovačević)

There are four constants in the Organ Vida Festival: it happens in Zagreb, Croatia; every year it gets bigger; festival founder Marina Paulenka is at the center of it; and visitors will see some exceptional and challenging photography. This year was no different, as Organ Vida presented its theme, New Citizen, over three weeks in September. The event comprised 13 exhibitions featuring 60 artists from Croatia and around the world, 2 workshops, 2 movie projections, a portfolio review, and of course, plenty of parties. Ten thousand visitors came to the festival. …


Bringing Africa to the world with photography (and vice versa)

Exhibitions, workshops, and portfolio reviews — at first glance, Addis Foto Fest sounds like any photo festival around the world. But this festival is in Ethiopia. With a long history of the African continent and its people being defined by western eyes and ideas, the festival presents unique challenges and opportunities. Festival founder and director Aida Muluneh tells me that the biannual festival started in 2010 in Addis Ababa, Ehtiopia, and continues to grow as a way to mentor young photographers, exhibit projects from emerging photographers, and build connections within the photo industry in Africa and around the world.

Curator and author Simon Njami (third from left) conducts a five-day workshop in which students reflect and interpret the theme, “What is home?” The results of the workshop were displayed at Addis Foto Fest. The workshop was a partnership with letter27. © Abinet Teshome.

“It…


Five photographers share how they make ends meet

The World Press Photo Foundation’s annual survey on The State of News Photography paints a broad and generally grim picture of the lives of photographers around the world. Relatively speaking, few have regular employment, women and those outside of Europe and North America are under-represented, income is low, and assignments are rare. In 2015, “the average photojournalist… was a self-employed man aged 30–50, earning less than $30,000 a year from photography, while also making some supplementary income from other sources.” In 2016, only 39 percent of those surveyed said they earn all of their income from photography. …

M. Scott Brauer

Boston-based photographer. Clients include: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Time, Bloomberg Businessweek, Le Monde, Chronicle of Higher Education.

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