Monday, 15 February 2016

It's what I do, Lynsey Addario

This is the Dutch cover, but
it is the same as the English version
The reason we know what is happening far away from here or on the frontline, is because there are very brave men and women who do their jobs in these places.

When you are in a warzone, you must be able to go against your instincts. Most of us will want to run away when a bomb goes off, a war-photographer will run towards it and will start making photo’s.

Lynsey Addario never thought she would become one of the most respected war-photographers in the world, when her father gave her her first camera when she was thirteen.

She grew up in Connecticut and had an unusual and eccentric childhood. Photographing was a huge hobby, but it soon became more. She also thought about travelling and how she could combine the two.

She learned the ins and outs of photographing in South America and returned to the US where went to work as a freelance-photographer, but this was just the beginning.

Lynsey Addario is a woman who is driven by her calling to report the news. Not as an adrenaline-junkie or in a need to score the best photo, but she wants to show what war means for the civilians in that area, how they are affected by it.

Lynsey Addario made photographs in Afghanistan, was there when the invasion of Iraq took place, made photographs in Dafur, south-Sudan, Libia, Gaza and many other places.

She worked as an embedded journalist, but also went into conflict zones on her own or with a couple of colleagues.

She did both news items as long reportages and her photo’s were for example published in The New York Times and National Geographic. Her hard work and beautiful pictures earned her many prizes and the respect of her colleagues.

Every now and then you read a book that is so fascinating and interesting that it is impossible to put it down.
I saw It’s what I do in the bookshop and when I read what it is about I decided to buy it immediately. This was a good decision!

It’s what I do does only give a very personal account of the conflicts that have broken out around the world in the past years, it also tells us what war-journalism is like. One moment you are in a hotel with your other colleagues waiting until something happens, the next day you walk around in a bullit-proofvest, making photo’s of the victims of a bomb or you hear a colleague has been killed.

Lynsey Addario shows how difficult her work can be, how much preparation is needed and how much danger there is sometimes. But she also shares the joy a journalist can feel when a photo they made  is published on the front page and perhaps has the power to influence public opinion.

At the same time it is also a very personal story; how can you justify to your family what you do, how do you deal with the risks and how do you find somebody to love who understands what you do?

Finally, but that is certainly not the least thing, this book gives you a whole new respect for the many brave men and women who do their jobs in difficult and often dangerous circumstances and who see bringing the news as their calling, even if it will cost them their lives.

It’s what I do is a very special and utterly interesting and fascinating book, the many beautiful photo’s Lynsey Addario made, make it even better.  
I loved this book and I think it will be in my top=3 of this year.

Original title: It’s what I do. A photographers life of love and war
Published in 2015

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