The RIT NPPA was treated to a lecture by photographer Pep Bonet. He was worked with multiple NGO’s including Doctors without Borders. Receiving numerous “young photographer” awards, his approach is one that many of us were curious about. Bonet outlined that he doesn’t do research, that he just gets into a story and lets his emotional subjectivity guide him.
I questioned him as to how this process worked, asking him how he emotionally identified with his subjects. He said that he felt other people’s photographs and opinions would influence him too much, so if he was working in another country with an NGO, he would let them bring him to the story, and then let his instincts and interest take over. He says this is what motivates him to photograph.
When asked by another audience member why he photographs if he thinks nothing good will happen because of the pictures he take, he said, “Photography is first for me,” saying that it was the medium that helped him overcome his social anxiety, in addition to giving him opportunity.
He said that this approach is not for everyone.