In an exclusive interview with HonestReporting, photojournalist Ruben Salvadori was asked what a photographer is supposed to do when it’s clear that his presence is influencing the actions of the people he’s covering?
First of all a photographer needs to realize this. You’re taking for granted, as I also did, that all photographers believe that their presence has an influence to some extent over the events, but it is a wrong assumption. I was shocked by hearing how many photographers were completely sure that seeing us arriving on the spot in a pack, carrying helmets, gas masks and an average of two big cameras each, had no effect whatsoever on the parties in conflicts.
I think this is the most important (first) step to be achieved, which is the understanding that we have an impact on what we witness, for the simple reason that we are there (let go with all our equipment, I’m talking about being there as any person, not necessarily in the photographer’s shoes).
See the full interview with Ruben Salvadori: EXPOSED: Photographer Reveals Market, Not Truth, Behind Conflict Images
While it is difficult to prove that the photographers at the scene actively colluded with the Palestinian attackers, there is no doubt that their very presence encouraged an escalation in the incident.
What would have happened had Zehava Weiss been injured and her car immobilized to be left to the mercy of a Palestinian mob? Or if worse had happened and she had been killed by the boulder lobbed at her vehicle? Would those same photographers have had the moral courage to intervene? Or would they have continued snapping photographs with complete abandon?
While we can only speculate, we probably know the answer.
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