Ever since I've started this blog, I've thought of highlighting the important work that some of my closest colleagues are doing. I know how we all like to peruse the internet for the latest gadgets, ideas, professional organizations, multimedia & documentary sites, and E-Zines, but I just wanted to really keep it all pretty simple here.
So I'd like to occasionally use this space to mention the careers of "Working Photographers and Colleagues...", with a column here to introduce some of the hard working photographers I know and respect in the business. Sort of a personal referral if you will, to those out there who are getting it done, both locally, nationally and even internationally.
First on the list and head and shoulders above anybody I know today is Shiho Fukada of Beijing, China and formally of New York. I've known Shiho for nearly five years, dating back to when we worked the streets of New York while freelancing for the NY Daily News. I eventually was hired as a night photo-assignment editor at the News in 2004, and Shiho subsequently left the confines of freelancing for the paper, branching out and began shooting assignments for the Associated Press, The New York Times and many others. Speaking from my photo-editor background, Shiho's work exemplifies everything that I look for and admire in a true documentary photographer. She has the passion, commitment and dedication in her work, and the heartfelt compassion along with unending energy to complete self-assigned projects and stories in some of the world's most difficult locales. Her work appears regularly in the NY Times (and NY Times Co. owned International Herald Tribune), both when she was in New York and recently from China, where she'd covered the earthquake last Spring. She's also shot Olympic features in and around Beijing during last summer's Olympics. She's worked the aftermath of the tsunami a few years ago, Bangladeshi ship breaking workers (just an amazing story in itself), birthing mothers in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami, strippers in Japan, and a project that just downright knocked my socks off; a portrait project of the victims of the China earthquake with her subjects holding family portraits of their deceased loved ones killed in the earthquake. Shiho even took the time to interview the subjects, to learn a little about them and their lost loved ones, which is information crucial to the project in her thorough caption material. Some of the portraits alone just take my breath away, as I know firsthand how difficult it is to work in an earthquake region. (I've seen my share of earthquakes & natural disasters through the years...) I do hope that you will take the time to view her site and her fine work. Now that she's based in Beijing, I'm looking forward to following her work & career from there, as well as projects I'm sure she'll be working on in Southeast Asia. Shiho is the real deal and not afraid to go where the most important stories are on the world stage. -cg.