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  • I am super excited to have been invited to speak and teach here at the

  • International Photography Festival in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates this

  • is the Hall of Fame of photographers from around the world world class guys

  • who are exhibiting and sharing their knowledge at this astonishing event and

  • I particularly would like you to meet this guy's Essdras Juarez he is a

  • multiple Pulitzer award-winning photojournalist what he doesn't know

  • about decisive moments and capturing breathtaking images in some of the most

  • demanding and difficult situations is pretty much second to none he's also a

  • big bundle of fun and a great big-kid we have trouble staying on track this you

  • know what I'm like Iona nip over to the hotel see if we can catch him because I

  • love you guys to meet him why photography what excited you about

  • photography first of all guys let me tell you I'm supposed to be a serious

  • good looking at this guy's face he just makes me smile so this is not gonna be a

  • serious interview right after that any cute come on so why photography so I was

  • actually studying to be a writer a journalist and I grew up reading

  • National Geographic and so I thought if I study journalism specialize in

  • magazine writing and get a minor in zoo-ology coz I happen to like animals

  • that would be the way to do it so my there my first semester of

  • journalism classes I was taking intro to journalism writing and my advisor was

  • the same professor and I was struggling came from Panama I learned English from

  • a very young age but the spoken language and the written language are two

  • different things and this professor was so harsh that if you made a mistake it

  • was fifty points Wow so sometimes I would start my test and she'd be like

  • you owe me 50 points from the previous tests so she know I was struggling so

  • why is it that you want to be a journalist again and I told her she said

  • so she called me one day and she said you know Tom Kennedy the director

  • photographer for National Geographic back then

  • sallowness of the college he's coming to talk to photographers you should talk to

  • him I'm like no I know nothing of Photography she said, you're going so she

  • made me go and I you know it was like eight photo students and I the only

  • known photographer there and so but it turns out because I had read so many

  • Geographics I hit it off really well with him so I finally said so doing what

  • I'm doing studying journalism magazine writing zoology do I have any chance of

  • working for you guys he's like no like okay that's gonna be good for the ego oh

  • yeah so he goes you know better chances you

  • become a photographer I'm like okay what do I do

  • he said what do you mean he's like how do I become a photographer it's like I

  • don't know you could apply for the internship and I'm like Wednesday

  • deadline said December is September I can do that he's like right so I can

  • draw a bit so I went into the restaurant manager's office of hours on paper I

  • draw a caricature of him it was him sitting on top of the world says as

  • Rodin's thinker and said Tom Kennedy National Geographic the world is our

  • backyard I signed it dated it gave him the original kept a copy and I said then

  • next time you see that my portfolio is gonna be attached to it he said right

  • you thought I was a crazy guy and the other students were just kind of shaking

  • their heads so time goes I get real I dove deep into photography and never

  • picked up a camera we're talking now I am a junior in college so it's my I

  • might be 21 21 22 years old and first time I pick up a camera so I started

  • learning all these things I put a portfolio together I do it on a while

  • wildlife around the Gainesville northern Florida area and December comes about

  • the same adviser sees me walk by her office she said come here I heard you've

  • been working really hard on this portfolio is it ready and he's like yeah

  • it's ready it's like let me see it so I bring it to you oh this is really good

  • so when are you gonna send it I'm like you know what the more I started

  • learning about who this guy was and what the geographic photography is I realized

  • I should have never talked to him this way that it was ludicrous

  • so I don't think I want to send it so she said stop it so she took it away and

  • that was the last I saw of that portfolio in January she calls me back

  • into her office and she says I guess someone in the phone that wants to talk

  • to you so I pick up the phone and say hey Essdras this is Tom Kennedy from the

  • National Geographic photo director Mike hold on a second

  • what did you do talk to the man what you know I so I get he's a guest on he's

  • like look you have a long way to go but you have potential I see potential on

  • you so I need someone who speaks Spanish I need someone who knows about jungles

  • on tropic I need someone who knows a bit about photography and a bit about

  • animals so he basically described me at that stage in my life it says and I can

  • only pay you $50 a day something you're gonna pay me on top of this so I spent

  • two and a half months working in the jungles of Panama Costa Rica and

  • Colombia being an assistant to a couple of photographers once I had that

  • experience I was hooked it's like this is it this is what I'm doing the rest of

  • my life certainly get it but the thing is that what you did there is you kind

  • of by doing the cartoon and the caricature and going the next time you

  • see this you stood out and this is what you got to do yeah yeah we're doing this

  • with whippet English quickly we're not drinking tea we're drinking fau tea mmm

  • delightful old boy we're thinking of running a workshop together I think you

  • should come because it's prepare your absolute last so prepare your ads man

  • okay come on get on with it Pulitzer Prizes it's about your Pulitzer Prize

  • because so big time so I had so I'm part of two Pulitzers and that first one was

  • Columbine there Columbine shooting which explained to famous it was the first big

  • massacre in the u.s. gun violence sadly no it's every weekend news now in the US

  • but it was the first one of its kind and out of that there was 20 photos over

  • entered to appeal it Sarah and I have a photo that I'm sure he'll show you that

  • it's a funeral is the funeral of one of the boys is a one african-american kid

  • who will kill and there were 3,000 people that came to view the body in a

  • casket and I was we were in a high platform up above it was a big mega

  • church and I was looking down and out of the 3,000 people at first when you get

  • to a scene like that you start photographing photographing because you

  • don't know when they're gonna kick you out but we have plenty of time so I kind

  • of calmed down and after a bit started watching the program for some odd reason

  • I just focus on this one I don't know why young woman and when

  • she finally made it in front of the casket I have the whole sequence of hair

  • with flowers in her hand and she's overwhelmed with emotion and she walks

  • and she so I have her where you can see their faith of the body and then where

  • the body is being blocked when they and walking away so it turns out she had

  • columbines flowers in her hand and in the background you could see that

  • diploma that he was gonna get if you would have graduated so the editors

  • picked that photo so it's a powerful photo once you see it you're more you're

  • really likely not to forget it so that photo means a lot to me however the

  • second pillar says just work having covered that Boston Marathon bombing and

  • mine was just one of many photos that were interned we just did a great job

  • covering the whole thing so but it's it's a great honor again but to me the

  • first one means more I actually feel a little bit more gratify about something

  • else called a Robert F Kennedy mmm international photography award by the

  • way I said that because I knew if he tried to say that he was gonna mess it

  • up he come in 23rd every practice they

  • award what was the award so it's not as the RFK and on that one I follow the

  • body of a witch as a story that's repeating itself again and again this

  • was like 20 years ago young boy 14 year old was being smuggled into the u.s.

  • once they cross the border they get to a certain point in the US and then they

  • sweat out go west go east when they were going through Colorado they were lonely

  • road middle of the night the guy I've been driving 17 hours all of a sudden

  • this split of a long road it's a sharp turn and he just kept going straight so

  • the van overturned 13 people inside two of them died so I was assigned by my

  • editors to follow the body of a 14 year old back to where he came from in the

  • mountain of Guatemala so right in the border of Mexico so I followed the body

  • for three days you know it was a vigilant in the capital city of

  • Guatemala City and then a whole day of they put the casket in the back of a

  • pickup truck we get finally get to this little village but the village was like

  • an hour away so we get to the last place we can drink they tell that the locals

  • what's going on the locals put a casket and on their shoulders and they start

  • hiking an hour and I have this great photo in the essay

  • where you see this big valley you see the village on top and you see a pathway

  • and you see the line of the villagers and on the foreground you see the big

  • white box and with their carrying it when people tell me my god you're so

  • smart you stayed behind to get that shot no I was exhausted

  • I've been going on for three days straight and I was literally leaning

  • against the tree sick my body was convulsing and I could barely breathe

  • because I'm trying to keep up with them and I just thought saw it in-between

  • heaving I basically took the shot and then I run and I caught up with him but

  • that photo of the essay is the one that you're gonna see which is of the of the

  • inside they opened the box and the box their casket with silver so there's

  • natural light coming in and the whole village is inside this little Hut and

  • the light is just bouncing off their faces and the mothers there the father's

  • there it's a very powerful image so I have gotten lucky to have been in the

  • right spot at the right place many many times that plays a part but also mm-hmm

  • we've been hanging out for a couple of days shooting stuff and we'll come to

  • that in a minute but in those few days I kind of know you're quite an emotional

  • character you care there's there's the popular idea of you know the hard-nosed

  • photojournalist who dives into someone's funeral but you care your you care about

  • the people about where you are how do you deal with those emotions and maybe

  • those conflicts solve within you I'm a true believer that the moment you stop

  • caring is the moment you'll be good start becoming inefficient at doing your

  • job so I will say you were born a human being and you will die human being when

  • you do in the middle that's your work as a fashion matters but at the end you got

  • to remember you are dealing with human beings therefore you should always walk

  • and people choose so I try to always approach the situation as if it were my

  • scenario what if that was my family's funeral my relatives and I have a

  • perfect stranger coming in what I wanted to stick a camera in my face Oh would I

  • would I be okay with him being respectful about it so I was trying to

  • be respectful about it so I try to straddle that line I have a duty to take

  • this photo to document the story but I also have a duty to these people as a

  • respect as a human being not to overstep my boundaries and make make us a bad

  • situation for them even worse so that's just me

  • we'll have other approaches mm-hmm and I mean just on the subject to the

  • hard-nosed photojournalist guys he's also a yoga teacher reconcile that I

  • never seen a photographer work with shades on

  • never mind gold ones talk to us about shades okay so let's start with the

  • shades Bart I just wanted you to see this I think they're really cool and my

  • wife is the one who got me into this mirror thing so but I'll take him up

  • just out of respect um so you're nice so the thing is the thing is you know I

  • actually didn't know this but I a lot of my career has been spent working in the

  • equatorial belt of the world so about I'm almost under the Sun and every

  • photographer can tell that it's a pain to work under the Sun as a

  • photojournalist you don't have the luxury own up on the lightest right you

  • got to work with what you got so at some point I picked up sunglasses

  • and I noticed that the sunglasses they were cheap they're no good

  • so I actually has a poor photographer when I bought a pair of ray-bans with

  • glass with polarized filter in them and expensive and was really bummed I'm like

  • oh my god this expensive glasses turns out that you can actually deduct the

  • Meseta it's a tax deduction in the u.s. because your eyes my eyes the way I make

  • money therefore they are a tool for my job just like my cameras are and I just

  • got used to it and the whole the fact that they're reflective it just happens

  • to be in vogue right now but it's very good because it allows me to survey a

  • seen something there might be a photo over there that I want to take a photo

  • of and I might be able to just turn my eyes see it if I'm wearing my glasses

  • and come back and you've seen me do this what I do is if I want to take a photo

  • of something on it over there and the light is even I'm actually pick

  • up my camera do the reading so the metering do that set the focal point

  • where I know it's gonna be because the time I move here I only have about a

  • fraction of a second to get it right before people react to me somehow I was

  • trying to walk that line between doing the right thing not being too

  • surreptitious about taking photos but also being honest with people so that

  • the shades work and I'm completing use to it and this one specifically they don't

  • give you any distortion they just actually just tone down the thing so

  • yeah that's what got it do you know find them cuz they just get in the way

  • there it out with the eye piece because your camera has no you know I cup on it and

  • ya know this is part of the reason no the part of the research because I

  • always give loosen it

  • god you are alone that most photographers particularly street

  • photographers thrive on stealth you know they want to be stealthy they hide

  • behind things use long lenses and keep out the way you are not a stealthy guy

  • and then a stealthy guy so I am six feet tall I weigh about 215 pounds I put on

  • big cameras on my shoulders I I have a big waist bag around my back or my waist

  • and if the weather allows I'd wear a scarf not only because it looks cool and

  • it does look cool but it actually helps you like with sweat and your mind in my

  • mind so quickly or it actually you can clean the lenses on in a hurry

  • hearing charge on Middle East I haven't been able the worst Carter be just

  • insane it's too hot but so I cannot hide what I'm doing so a long time ago an

  • editor of mine was a mentor name is Dean Craig ho Zen of a photographer he told

  • me a stress you embrace the role of being a photographer too much you will

  • never be the fly on the wall you need to work on that I work try working anybody

  • didn't work it didn't work so I now have to do completely the opposite I act the

  • part I am a big photographer with big personality out in the streets and what

  • I do is I will take a photo in my world it's easier to ask for forgiveness than

  • it is to ask for permission I will take a photo and then when people and see me

  • I will stop go to them smile introduce myself telling what I'm doing shown the

  • photo and I'm not even offering would you like to send me this photo to you

  • and most people just want to know what you're doing

  • I try not to hide you know because I said I cannot hide and I truly believe

  • that most people are okay with having their photo taken that's not to say

  • there's some people that don't like it but you don't take it personally agree

  • simply yeah move on sister no it doesn't mean anything personal somebody doesn't

  • like it you just just move on would you say your speciality is my specialty is

  • none I am a generalist that recent beam is because having come from the world of

  • newspaper photography you are given an assignment and you have to fulfill it

  • you might not like that kind of photography that you have to do in that

  • moment which first time happen with me on food photography and when I moved to

  • the Boston Globe from Denver Boston is a big foodie town and it's

  • their new restaurants popping off so every week as like a columnist that was

  • one of the most well read and where I was reviewing restaurants and I would

  • have to photograph food all the time and at the beginning I was no good at it

  • wasn't I was embarrassingly bad and finally dawned on me I'm like you know

  • what at the end of the day my name goes by that photo so I need to get good at