The line between what is right and wrong when a photographer is deciding to take a certain shot or not, is sometimes very thin. When witnessing horrific or tragic events, it is sometimes hard to bear.
However, if we as photojournalists do not stand up and make people pay attention, who will? It is our responsibility to show people the world and what happens in it--good or bad.
Personally, I am new at this controversial side of photojournalism. I just always loved taking photos. It wasn't until my first year of Humber College that I began to see the real potential in a photograph--whether the topic was odd, heartbreaking, gruesome, joyful or peaceful.
I started to see what a photograph could really mean to someone and what it could possibly accomplish. I didn't just 'point and shoot' anymore--but instead, took a moment to see what was under the surface. Isn't that what it is all about?
A code of ethics is defiantly something I think photojournalists need, but it should not restrict our options and creativity. Of course, we are going come across those debatable situations where we will question our motives for taking the photograph or not. I believe the best way to approach a situation like that, is to ask yourself if it will benefit others to see that photograph. Will it strike a passion in someone? Will it cause someone to get up and make the situation better? If the answer your answers to these questions are only self-involved, is it really for the greater good? Maybe you will still take the photograph, but you'll live with the guilt if you did it for the wrong reasons and that should matter to a real photojournalist.
© Natasha Fall, 2007