Committed to others, committed to the world, these ten photographers we present to you today are photographers who strive to put their convictions through their art. Through photo reports or blogs, they try to make things happen.
Brandon Stanton founded the famous Humans of New York blog in November 2010. Since then, he has put online pictures of New Yorkers accompanied by descriptions where they tell a moment, a particular stage of their lives. What is its objective ? To highlight the hidden faces of the inhabitants of this cosmopolitan city and make them aware of the diversity of each person’s background. Her commitment and the popularity of her blog have made it possible to organize fundraising events to support various social causes.
Highlighting the benefits of sport for young people, Dominika Cadu, sports photographer, chose to help young athletes who would not have the means to equip themselves and train in good conditions. To do this, she created a calendar featuring athletes she photographed naked. The funds earned from the sale of the calendars are donated to its “One Year Fund” association.
Committed photography has also supported research for the disease. This is the fight led by Benjamin Von Wong and the O’Neill family since July 2014 against Sanfilippo disease. By discovering the story of the O’Neill family whose lives changed when they discovered their daughter Eliza’s illness, Benjamin Von Wong left his camera behind to take a camera and tell the story of this family and help them in their fundraising. The GoFundMe campaign, accompanied by Benjamin Von Wong’s video, which raised over $2 million, was the campaign that raised the most donations on the platform at the time.
Many photographers put their talents into the services of associations to help them in their struggles. This is the case of Stephanie Sinclair, an American photo journalist and founder of the “Too Young to Wed” association. With her association Stephanie Sinclair is fighting against the forced marriage of young girls around the world. With this NGO, it seeks to raise awareness against this still widespread practice. Beyond photographing the situations she witnesses, Stephanie Sinclair entrusts married girls with cameras when they were just children to capture their daily lives.
It was to defend the cause of refugees in Greece that Cyrille Bernon, a photographer used to school portraits, went to a refugee camp in Greece. He went to the Idomeni camp to photograph the families and the some 5,000 children living in the camps, creating the report “A Childhood in the Camps”. By illustrating the inhuman living conditions of these children, he warned of the despair that animates these families.
In the same spirit as the Humans of New York blog, the work of Brooklyn-based Jamaican photographer Ruddy Roye aims to destroy prejudice and make people think. Ruddy focuses on portraits of African Americans, highlighting their stories and daily challenges. Commitment to others and raising awareness are the key words of this committed photographer.
The defence of minorities is a major issue for committed photographers. It was with this in mind that Frédéric Noy travelled to East Africa to meet sexual minorities. As members of the LGBTI community were rejected by their families because of their sexuality, Frédéric Noy went there to highlight this reality through these photographs.
Mário Macilau, an environmental and children’s rights defender, has taken a series of black and white photos in the landfill of the Huelene district of Mozambique, his native country. Thanks to this work, which was rewarded with the 2016 Green Places Photo Award, he was able to highlight the difficulties and health problems faced by people who earn their living working in this landfill and burning waste, continually exposing themselves to toxic fumes..
Mattias Klum, a famous Swedish pro-environmental photographer, has travelled the world to warn of the damage caused to nature by global warming. It is by returning several times to the same places that he was able to highlight the rapid degradation and blatant in the environment. His photographic work, accompanied by his films, exhibitions and books, has been praised by the King of Sweden and by National Geographic, which has published it many times.
Finally, it is in Brazil that photographer Sebastião Salgado also fights for the environment. He is the co-founder of the “Instituto Terra” association, which makes it possible to restore spaces that have been exhausted by over-exploitation through donations. In particular, he highlights his NGO and pro-environmental convictions by photographing animals, landscapes and inhabitants of the American continent.
With this article, we wanted to share with you the work of committed photographers, because beyond a fixed image, photography conveys messages that are just as important as the photograph itself.
Photo credit: Mattias Klum