Legacy of Photojournalists: Hidden Heroes Behind Headlines

Photojournalists Henri Cartier-Bresson (left) and James Foley (right)

Photojournalists are like soldiers on the front lines when it comes to accurately reporting a story. This is especially true when the news happens to be in conflict areas and war zones. Photojournalists make their living by putting themselves in harms way. They risk their lives not only to satisfy the public’s need for news, but also because they have a true passion for the stories behind the news. It’s not just about the headlines but about the human beings whose lives have been torn apart by the circumstances in which they are embroiled. 

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms [as they are perceived visually] which give that event its proper expression.”
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

In this spirit, we wish to pay tribute to two amazing photojournalists. One helped set the standard for the industry today and celebrates a birthday, while the other was captured and later killed while covering the war in Syria.

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer widely touted to be the father of photojournalism. Armed with his Leica, he traveled the world in an effort to capture “The Decisive Moment,” a phrase he coined that has defined his personal approach to photography. Some of the notable events he covered included the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Occupation and Liberation of France in World War II, the aftermath of World War II in the United States, and Gandhi’s funeral. He went on to found Magnum Photos, an agency for photographers that controlled where and how photos could be presented. It is widely considered to be the gold standard of international photojournalism.

Photojournalist Henri Cartier Bresson

HCB India, Bresson

HCB India, BressonHCB India, Bresson

In the same respect, James Foley became the unwitting face of freelance photojournalism covering conflicts abroad when he was taken hostage and killed earlier this week by the terror group ISIS. He was one of the mos talented photojournalists, the latest who “gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people” and the horrors of war. 

Photojournalist James FoleyPhotojournalist James Foley

An image of Syria from James FoleyAn image of Syria from James Foley

Screen shot 2014-08-23 at 11.11.46 AM

Screen shot 2014-08-23 at 11.12.08 AM

Today, we celebrate their bravery and selflessness and voice our appreciation for photojournalists and their relentless quest to find and capture the truth at whatever cost. They are truly the hidden heroes behind the headlines.

Leave us a comment below with your thoughts on the legacy of photojournalists, or create an Everlasting Footprint in honor of someone who has touched your life. We want to hear your stories.


Sources: The Daily Beast, Time, MOMAGlobal Post, ABC News

About Tiffany Qua

Social Media Manager Tiffany Qua, MA, specializes in content strategy, digital marketing, and social media campaigns. A graduate of Columbia University and John Hopkins University, Tiffany and her husband live in NYC.

Leave a Reply