Category Archives: viewpoint

Discrimination In Journalism

Seeking Diversity In The Media Industry

Press Card Mosaic

It’s a very sad truth that sexism and racism is rife in the media. As a British photojournalist born in Iran and off Armenian descendants, I have lived in the UK since the age of eight. It’s very much my home and I’m extremely proud to be British and to contribute to society through my work, both professionally and in various volunteer basis, as well as numerous charitable contributions.

Through various publications, competitions and awards over the years, I have proven my ability as a photojournalist, yet sadly have never managed to make it past being a casual freelance photographer (meaning being commissioned daily) for the newspapers and agencies. I have several talented colleagues who are of various ethnic backgrounds who have the same struggles. The same discrimination is shown towards white, English female colleagues when contracts and big projects are filled. It is indeed rare to see someone of ethnicity or female photographers in good contract positions, the recipient of the top commissions or in possession of staff jobs (even when these were more abundant).

It truly is a shame that one’s ability and skill is often overseen, in place of one’s ethnicity or sex. After all, the reader or viewer sees the work, not the author. Its quite bizarre that over the last year, I decided to grow a long beard. Instead of this being seen as a trendy or hipster type thing, because of my slight tanned complexion, I could see a lot of people were judging me as some sort of religious extremist. Since shaving it off a couple of months ago, the reaction of the same people when seeing me is the polar opposite. Its quite sad really. Ignorance is most often not bliss.

Picture editors, editors, publishers and media owners need to look at the quality of work and ability of the photojournalist, not their ethnicity, sex, cultural background or religion. I’m definitely not one to condone positive discrimination either; quotas shouldn’t be filled based purely on one’s ethnicity or sex. I just think that the best person for the job should always get the job regardless of the colour of their skin or their sex.

The NY Times has this excellent article, which is well worth a read: Seeking Action — Not Just Talk — About Diversity in Photojournalism. Even more importantly, at the end of the article is a link to a survey for working photojournalists. Please put aside five minutes and fill in this Reclaim survey. Hopefully it’ll benefit the industry and our readers too.

Christmas Wishes

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2016 has certainly been a rough year. The worsening refugee crisis, mass killings in Syria, extremists of all sorts (both in the Middle East and the West), political upheavals like Brexit and Trump, the rise of racism and far right ideologies, the loss of many great and gifted people, have made 2016 one of the most terrible years in my living memory.

I hope that on those things which we have control, we learn lessons and vow to make 2017 much better. On those things we have no control, let’s be hopeful that it will be a better year.

I’ve personally had a very mixed year. Very saddened by world events both far and close. Very annoyed by politicians who blatantly set out to lie and fool the population of their respective countries. I’ve met some very interesting new people; talented, genuine and with depth and substance and been let down by a couple of people whom I felt had these qualities.

I’ve been fortunate with my work being recognised by various institutions, publications and competitions around the world and had the honour of the Daily Mirror naming me as the author of one of the world’s most iconic photographs. I’ve had the absolute joy of being back at the Royal College of Music to continue my project with an extremely talented group of people; it’s an atmosphere which makes me buzz with creative energy. It’s been wonderful continuing many bespoke one on one workshops throughout the year, both for established clients and new clients. I’ve also had the absolute joy of being a tutor on Philip Bloom and Nino Leitner’s Film Makers Masterclass, where I had the joy to meet some amazing people and produce some great work.

Words of thanks to all who follow the blog, my Instagram, Flickr and FaceBook. Your kind comments always raise a smile and bring an energy when it’s needed. Thank you.

I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year. Keep well!

BBC Interview On Iconic Photography

Live Interview On BBC World News

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Thrilled to have permission from the BBC to share this clip of myself and journalism student Wilton Jackson from the University of Baton Rouge being interviewed on a segment about iconic photography.

The segment was based around the superb photograph from the Baton Rouge protest (July 10th, 2016) by Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman.

This clip is being used with full permission of the BBC (Global Planning Editor, BBC News, London). This was a live broadcast on July 21st, 2016.

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The Photography Show 2016

Hope To See You In Birmingham!

Very happy to say I’ll be at the Photography Show again this year. For the duration of the show I’ll be with my friends and colleagues on the Snapper Stuff stand (B101 and B102) talking about Think Tank Photo bags (for whom I’ve been on the design board) and FLM‘s range of supports and helping out with any questions you may have.

Presentation

From last year’s show: “Essentials In Documentary Film Making” talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

On Sunday, March 20th, 2pm-2.40pm, I’ll be giving an Olympus Visionary talk on my Opera By The River project at the Behind The Lens Theatre. I’ll share with you my thoughts and experiences on shooting this 11 month project at the prestigious Royal College of Music and naturally showing my favourite images from the reportage. I’ll also share which Olympus cameras and lenses I used along with some other equipment which were invaluable. Hope to see you there!

Albert Herring; an Opera by Benjamin Britten

(L-R) Lady Billows, played by Janis Kelly and Miss Wordsworth, played by Sofia Larsson, make their way across backstage to the rear of the set. The final performance of Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten. Royal College of Music, Bitten Theatre, Prince Consort Road, London. July 08, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

There will also be a unique opportunity to purchase a copy of the book that goes with this project. Please see THIS post for details. I’ll be happy to sign your copy for you!

On Monday, March 21st, 2pm-3pm, I’ll be a panelist on a discussion in the Piazza Suite 3; “Are staged or manipulated pictures ever acceptable? The panel discusses just how far you can go…”. This discussion brought to you by Professional Photography magazine is sure to be interesting, so hope to see you there too.

Lastly, do make sure you pop by and see my friends at the Eizo stand. They’ll be showing my photographs and video work to showcase just how great my favourite monitors are. Colour and density accuracy and built in automated hardware calibration! Definitely worth asking a demo.

RODELink Review

My Review Of The RØDELink Filmmaker Kit

The new Rodelink wireless setup. May 19, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The new Rodelink wireless setup. May 19, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Easy. That’s the surprise when you first setup the new RODELink. So easy to setup and start shooting with. One button pairing, digital wireless and a distance of up to 100 meters.

The RodeLink Film Maker Kit on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. May 16, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The RodeLink Film Maker Kit on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. May 16, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Rode’s first wireless system works a treat; fast to get going with and great audio too. The Filmmaker Kit comes with a transmitter receiver, the excellent Rode Lavalier mic and also a minijack cable for attaching the receiver to your camera or audio recorder.

Tips On How Not To Annoy Professional Photographers

Things To Avoid

L-R: Edmond Terakopian and Ian Berry having a chat about all things photographic London.  January 22, 2015. Photo: Neil Buchan-Grant

L-R: Edmond Terakopian and Ian Berry having a chat about all things photographic. London. January 22, 2015. Photo: Neil Buchan-Grant

1- Do not say “Great capture”. So annoying. Calling it a good photograph, shot or picture is all that’s needed.

2- Do not say “wow, I bet you get really nice pictures with that camera”. The camera doesn’t make the photographs; the photographer does. It’s just like you wouldn’t compliment a writer on their choice of word processor or a chef on their choice of pan.

3- Do not say things like “nice bokeh”! It’s not a compliment to make a comment on the out of focus areas on a picture; probably better to concentrate on the actual subject in the picture. If you really like how the lens renders out of focus detail (bokeh) write to the manufacturer and lens designer. They designed it and so, deserve your praise.

4- “I could’ve done that if I was there”. Well, being there at the right time is half the skill; then it’s making it happen in camera. Trust me, it’s not that easy when everything’s going down.

…perhaps most importantly:

5- Respect your copyright and don’t give away your pictures for free (or for ridiculously low pay. Remember, if it’s worth publishing, it’s worth paying for). You’re ruining an entire industry when you do this. Imagine if in your line of work a hobbyist turned up and started working for free. You would soon not have a job.

Feel free to add to this list in the comments below and please do share this post around 🙂 Thanks.

Edmond Terakopian at the new Wembley Stadium, covering the first football game after it's opening. Photo: Stuart Emmerson

Edmond Terakopian at the new Wembley Stadium, covering the first football game after its opening. Photo: Stuart Emmerson

The Power Of A Photograph

Our Own Personal Histories

Edmond Terakopian (far left) in the back of a lorry delivering supplies to the front line in Martakert, Karabakh. August 1994. Photo: Hakob Berberyan

Edmond Terakopian (far left) in the back of a lorry delivering supplies to the front line in Martakert, Karabakh. August 1994. Photo: Hakob Berberyan

The power of the photograph never ceases to amaze me. A good friend, the talented Hakob Berberyan (also known as Hakber), a photojournalist and sports photographer based in Armenia, has over the last two days found some pictures he took of me in Karabakh, back in 1994.

Receiving these images out of the blue, has taken me on a journey through time. A reflection on the sadness of war, meeting the most amazing people manning the trenches in Martakert, the amazing spirit of ordinary people in villages thrown into a conflict zone, the value of friendship and camaraderie. The humbling feeling of a people so thankful that someone had come to photograph and thus document what they were going through.

Edmond Terakopian in Shushi, Karabakh. August 1994. Photo: Hakob Berberyan

Edmond Terakopian in Shushi, Karabakh. August 1994. Photo: Hakob Berberyan

A cocktail of feelings and thoughts, and a montage of remembered images, some photographed and some seen, a remembrance of youth and wonder, all brought about by seeing a photograph. Amazing.