by: Nathanielle Punay
The Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism (ACFJ) held the 14th of the series of PITIK lectures on photojournalism at the newly opened Arete complex last Nov. 24.
The forum featured California-based documentary photographer Rick Rocamora as he told stories about someone like himself who didn’t study journalism but became an award-winning photojournalist.
The former pharmaceutical salesman said his love for the craft grew in the course of his travels, until one day in 1990 he just decided to be a freelance photographer.
Rocamora is now capturing moments that tackle various social issues. His most recent work is the book entitled “Blood, Sweat, Hope and Quaipo: Rodallie S. Mosende Story,” which focuses on a homeless girl who had been one of Rocamora’s subjects. She caught public attention, received an outpouring of support and has now finished college.
“One of the first things you have to do is to assess yourself,” Rocamora said.
“Not because you have a camera and can edit photos in Photoshop does it mean that you are good enough to be a photojournalist. So if that’s what you like to do, you have to spend time developing yourself in getting skills that are necessary to be successful in that field,” he added.
The event also featured students taking up Diploma in Visual Journalism at the ACFJ: Elisa Bruan, Manman Dejeto, Yummie Dingding, Hashim Hakeem and Jasper Llanderal, who showed their work and some insights regarding their projects.
Llanderal presented his multimedia story on white water-rafting in his hometown, Cagayan de Oro.
Bruan followed her curiosity and told the tale of shoemakers in Marikina and the struggles to keep the industry that Marikina had been known for all these years.
Dingding showed photos of the everyday life of a man named Lola Monching who caught attention because of the tattoos on his body including his face.
Hakeem took photos of Kashmir, where he is based, a place that is currently in the grip of conflict between India and Pakistan.
Dejeto showed the lives and hardships of the refugees of the Marawi siege, focusing on how some of them are able to make a living inside the evacuation center.
Nathanielle Punay is a journalism senior student of Polytechnic University of the Philippines and an intern of Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University