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Storytelling That Changes Lives – Sean Gallagher on Photojournalism

, Storytelling That Changes Lives – Sean Gallagher on Photojournalism

In Episode 18  of the Focused Professional Podcast, Joe interviews Sean Gallagher, an independent photographer and filmmaker based in China. A fellow of the Royal Geographic Society with a passion for environmental issues, Sean is a multi-award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic and on CNN. 

After studying zoology, Sean stumbled upon photography by discovering an old family camera. His growing passion led him to teach himself how to develop his own prints and inspired him to seek out an internship at Magnum Photos. His time there fuelled his interest in photojournalism and gave him the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the field.

, Storytelling That Changes Lives – Sean Gallagher on Photojournalism

Sean tells us how he came to live in China, driven by a fascination sparked by his father’s stories of the country. He shares the challenges and rewards of building a career telling stories through images. Discover how he builds key relationships with both local communities and potential buyers. This isn’t just a job for Sean – we get a real sense of passion for the stories he tells and a deep belief in the difference photojournalism can make to international issues.

, Storytelling That Changes Lives – Sean Gallagher on Photojournalism
Aerial view of burning land near the Phnom Tnout Phnom Pok Wildlife Sanctuary, in Songkom Thmey District, Preah Vihear Province, northern Cambodia. During the dry season between January to March, hundreds of fires continually rage across the country. Land is burnt by farmers, loggers and local people looking to either capture wildlife or clear land for agriculture. Cambodia has one of the world’s fastest rates of deforestation and it is estimated only 3% of primary forest is now left.

Joe and Sean delve into the ethics of photojournalism, the role of awards, and the impact of storytelling through visuals. Sean offers insights into the technical and emotional aspects of his work, emphasizing the importance of being in the moment and the power of photography to cast light on global issues such as the climate crisis.

Whether you’re an aspiring photojournalist or simply interested in what goes into creating compelling storytelling images, Sean’s story is educational and inspiring.

, Storytelling That Changes Lives – Sean Gallagher on Photojournalism
A man walks amongst sand dunes in the Shapotou Tengger desert resort near the city of Zhongwei, in Ningxia Province. The park was established next to a Chinese Academy of Sciences research station, involved in studies investigating desertification control measures. The Shapotou park draws thousands of visitors who ride camels, do sand sliding and take boat rides on the nearby Yellow River.

To see more of Sean’s work, please visit his website: gallagher-photo.com. You can also follow him on Instagram. For photography tips check out his educational YouTube channel, where you can also find his podcast “The Camera Doesn’t Matter,” featuring interviews with other photojournalists.

Images © Sean Gallagher (Used here with permission)

Text & audio © Focused Professional 2024

Proudly sponsored by The Society of Photographers

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