The Stories That Keep Them Going: 5 Photojournalists Share Their Most Powerful Moments

The Stories That Keep Them Going: 5 Photojournalists Share Their Most Powerful Moments

We usually think of first responders as medical and emergency personnel, but we forget that photojournalists are often some of the first witnesses to a crisis. From grieving with a widow to being one of the first faces a refugee sees on dry land, a photojournalist’s job is anything but predictable. But not every scene they capture is full of hardship. We asked five documentary photographers and photojournalists to share some of the stories that they’ll remember forever.

Each of these photographers are members of The List – a selection of 90 finalists from our 80,000+ PhotoShelter community.

Feature photo by Gabriel Romero


Edu Bayer

“I have been working as a photojournalist for more than a decade now, in Spain and the US. I love doing news and features, and I am very resourceful moving around, getting to the story and capturing people in an intimate way.”

Can you share a story from a humanitarian issue you’re passionate about?
“I want to be engaged in the world I live in and do stories that touch me. This is one story I worked on last year:

Peace and Simon, a young couple from Ghana departed from Libya, dark in the morning on September 7th on a crowded rubber boat after a 2-year-long journey from their homeland. Despite her being very pregnant, they both wanted to leave behind the “hell on earth” that Libya was to them, and they trusted God that they would survive. At 8:30 a.m. they were rescued around 30 miles from Tripoli, and Peace delivered her first born onboard of Open Arms vessel. There were complications after delivery and the baby had to be given CPR for more than 15 minutes, but then the baby began crying and start breathing by herself. Other women around them and NGO personnel cheered for the family. The mum and the baby were then evacuated to Sicily by an Italian warship. The father, still on deck of the Open Arms vessel, hoped to reunite them soon. The girl was named ‘Miracle’, and she later got European nationality because she was born on a Spanish vessel. I went there on my own to document the work NGO’s are doing to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean. The second image won first prize Picture of The Year “Feature” 2018.”

Primary location: New York, NY
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Photo by Edu Bayer

Photo by Edu Bayer

Julia Robinson

“I’m an independent photojournalist in my native Austin, Texas. I’ve worked for large metropolitan dailies as well as small-town newspapers and honored with recognition from Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, the Missouri Press Association, the Associated Press, and anyone who ever put my photo on their fridge.”

Can you share a story from a humanitarian or environmental issue you’re passionate about?
“As a community journalist, I localize national issues and bring the conversation down to earth for viewers. I’m drawn to stories of social justice, cultural heritage, and personal journeys of redemption. It’s rare these days to get a multi-day assignment where I can spend time with the people I photograph. I treasure the opportunity to see connection, emotion, and everyday living that a two-hour portrait assignment can’t reveal.

I was sent to Homer, Louisiana by the New York Times to photograph the family of Bernard Monroe, an elderly man shot to death by police on his front porch. They had been pursuing his son through the neighborhood and claimed the 73-year-old, left mute from throat cancer, had been armed and advancing toward them. The officers were never indicted for the shooting. This headline is all too familiar, but spending time with Bernard Monroe’s family forever changed the story for me. The injustice of their loss greets them everyday on that porch.”

Primary location: Austin, TX
Instagram  | Twitter |  Facebook

Photo by Julia Robinson

Photo by Julia Robinson










Gabriel Romero

“I feel that to be truly effective in the field one has to be fully committed to the story they are trying to tell. I believe in photojournalism and its ability to inform the world to the ills of our increasingly troubling times, to speak truth to power, to shine a light into the darkness and give voice to the voiceless.”

Can you share a story from a humanitarian or environmental issue you’re passionate about?
“I spent a good part of 2016 and 2017 in Iraq covering the battle to retake the city of Mosul. Like any war this one took a terrible toll on the civilian population. Though I witnessed a horrible amount of death and dying, this image sticks with me the most in terms of civilian deaths. This man was brought into a field hospital still conscious after being hit in a mortar strike. He died while looking into my camera. I was the last thing he ever saw. This was his moment of death. I think of this man often and the dozens of others both civilian and military whose deaths I witnessed during the months long battle.”

Primary location: Los Angeles, CA

Photo by Gabriel Romero

Georgina Mary Garnett

“I capture often overlooked moments which depict human nature, provide human connection, and thereby encourage empathy and understanding. I provide a unique service and can travel to any part of the world, creating bespoke packages to both corporate brands and their charity partners.”

Primary location: London, UK
Instagram  |  Facebook

Photo by Georgina Mary Garnett

Christophe Vander Eecken

“I live in the center of Europe, close to Brussels and am flexible to travel. I work until a client is happy with the result and love to work on long-term and in-depth stories. I try to work with a lot of empathy and respect towards people.”

Can you share a story from a humanitarian or environmental issue you’re passionate about?
“During the winter of 2015, I was in Calais, France at the beginning of a refugee crisis. Temperatures went below zero and at night it was freezing. More than 800 people from Africa, escaping poverty and war, were trying to find a way to the UK. Young guys communicated with friends and family through a smartphone, keeping each other up to date about their adventures.

The refugees squatted at an abandoned factory’s old basketball court to find shelter and escape from the freezing Nordic wind. For 3 months, I followed the situation at the camp and went there twice a week. I was happy to be able to work there for UNHCR. I hoped they could use the images to tell people about the refugee situation and hopefully get help.”

Primary location: Belgium
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Photo by Christophe Vander Eecken

Check out our Instagram for more powerful moments from these photographers.

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There is 1 comment for this article
  1. John at 12:39 am

    Awesome, followed them all. Great to have some new content on my instagram feed. (providing their stupid algorithm actually shows me new posts)

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