Why photojournalists shoot (what they shoot)

Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines

Posted at Oct 16 2019 12:56 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2019 05:13 PM

Marawi Siege. Photojournalist Romeo Ranoco of Reuters News Agency covers the rebel siege on June 22, 2017 in Marawi City. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

Everybody is a photojournalist until the sh*t hits the fan.

Take the Marawi Siege for instance. Few would venture into the war-torn area, not out of lack of courage, although that can be a big contributing factor, but more of practicality. Why should anyone risk his or her life only to be paid a paltry sum?

Apparently, photojournalists do that--for a paltry sum.

Photojournalists go to the frontlines to tell and deliver you the story, in images.

This is where training, and not only courage, becomes vital. A photojournalist has to be aware of his or her purpose and how to go about it even before going into the field so as not to lose focus, both figuratively and literally.

From October 23 to 27, 2019, more than a dozen photojournalists with a combined experience of more than 50 years in the industry will be holding a workshop at Radio Veritas Asia in Fairview, Quezon City.

The Photojournalists' Center of the Philippines (PCP) will be holding its 14th Professional Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Workshop, the only 5-day comprehensive workshop in photojournalism administered by working photojournalists in the country.

Started in 1998, the annual event has become a vehicle for current photojournalists to train the next generation of potential practitioners.

Veterans in the industry like Alex Baluyut, Luis Liwanag, and Fernando Sepe Jr. are joined by specialists in their field, including international journalists Rolex Dela Peña and Joe Torres and World Press Photo awardee Ezra Acayan, among others.

Top of the heap. Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines member Jojo Sescon shoots from a pile of debris left by the war in Marawi City on October 25, 2017. Fernando G. Sepe Jr. ABS-CBN News

During the workshop, topics ranging from composition, visual storytelling, documentary photography, the photo essay, as well as writing, ethics, and security, will be the subjects in the lectures. The participants will then have the chance to interact with their mentors as they work on their story projects.

The workshop is made possible because of the time trainers, speakers, and secretariat volunteer as members of PCP. This is a way of giving back to the industry in line with PCP’s mission to professionalize the practice of photojournalism in the Philippines.

The major sponsors of this year's workshop are San Miguel Corporation and Smart Communications. It is also supported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Philippine Press Institute, YKL Color Inc. and Ynzal Corporation.

Helping promote the event are media partners ABS-CBN News, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Manila Bulletin's Picture Perfect.