How Pictures Can Help and Hurt

We never think about the pictures we don’t see. Sometimes pictures are of gruesome content and sometimes they are of a beautiful subject. Either way pictures have the power to encapsulate all sorts of different emotions all at the same time. In the article, “Too Much?” by Arielle Emmit we learn a little but about how photo journalists feel about the photos they take. Arielle talks a lot about the earthquake in Haiti and the flood of photographs that came in of the catastrophe. It seemed to me that most of the people Interviewed for the article were OK with shots of gruesome and sometimes graphic photos, as long as they had some value. I happen to agree with them there. If a photo is put in a magazine or a news article just to shock people, then, I think that is disrespectful to the person in the picture and to the audience of the publication. I also agree with them when they say that some photos maybe be gruesome, they tell the whole story. Without being there for some of us it is hard to be empathetic. Sympathy is almost always easy but empathy is a bit harder when what is happening is happening so far away. A lot of times the pictures bring the story together and help make people really feel and understanding the suffering that is going on.

Which brings me to the school principal in the article “Too Much?” by Arielle Emmit. Valérie Payen-Jean Baptiste, a Haitian school principal, was saying that she did not agree with the photos being taken and that it was disrespectful. I think she is right, but she is missing the bigger picture. The bigger picture here is that Haiti needs help. It is unfortunate to say, but without pictures some people will never care. Some people will never “get” what is going on. Some writers are amazing at capturing a feeling and expressing it to the reader, but none like a photo. A photo calls people to action and gets them to their feet. A photo brings the emotions to YOU.

This entry was posted in General, World News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.