In an age where there is permanently an influx of images being projected in front of you everywhere you turn, it is all too easy to forget the efforts that have gone in to making them. Sometimes this isn’t worth even pausing to consider the blasé nature of the consumer; sometimes it’s an utter tragedy.
The above video is about Chris Hondros’s portraiture in conflicts; a profession that sadly cost him his life. It depicts some of his images from an incident that the media covered in depth. Chris photographed the military shooting a car that refused to stop, killing two civilians and these civilians were the parents of six children, all of which were in the back seats. They were screaming, they were horrified, they were petrified and they were flecked with their parents blood.
As you watch the slideshow of the images and drink in the magnitude of this atrocity, take a moment to consider the photographer in all this. I found myself inundated with questions. Could I take a photograph of a blood covered child grieving the brutal death of their parent just seconds ago? Could I put myself in the middle of a war – on the front line – in order to record crucial moments in history? Finally, I stopped on this connected question. Chris recorded these images and they became worldwide news with appropriate levels of outrage, which means there were consequences for the soldiers and the military in general. So for all the risks Chris takes to record history, the chances are that the soldiers he is with do not even want him to be there. He is in a war, unarmed and unwelcome by both sides. That is courage. Not the courage we hear about when a photographer breaks fundamental rules in his image. Courage so formidable it’s almost tangible.