A reminder: Always consider the circumstance

Every journo should read pieces like that about every year or so. There’s a lot to learn in circumstances like this, too.

What it feels like to be photographed in a moment of grief:

“I sat there in a moment of devastation with my hands in prayer pose asking for peace and healing in the hearts of men,” she recalls. “I was having such a strong moment and my heart was open, and I started to cry.”

Her mood changed abruptly, she says, when “all of a sudden I hear ‘clickclickclickclickclick’ all over the place. And there are people in the bushes, all around me, and they are photographing me, and now I’m pissed. I felt like a zoo animal.”

What particularly troubles her, she says, is “no one came up to me and said ‘Hi, I’m from this paper and I took your photograph.’ No one introduced themselves. I felt violated. And yes, it was a lovely photograph, but there is a sense of privacy in a moment like that, and they didn’t ask.”

Covering a story or an event like this is an important function of the job. In this particular case we must remember: We are becoming a small part of the worst event in this person’s life.

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