We recently had the chance to sit down with alumnus Jonathan Bachman ‘03, a Louisiana-based freelance photographer whose images for Reuters of the Baton Rouge protests are hailed as ‘iconic’ and ‘impossible to forget’. One photo (right) went viral and was featured in many publications including The New York Times and Time. It was also nominated for awards, listed in ‘Best Photos of the Year’ galleries and appeared on shows like The Today Show and CBS News. Read below for a quick excerpt from our interview. Be sure to read the entire interview in this year’s issue of Echoes, available this month.
The images you took after Hurricane Isaac and the Baton Rouge protests are powerful. Could you tell us a little bit about your work as a photographer and your journey to becoming one?
I have always loved photography and knew early on that I wanted to be a photographer. However there was one experience that made me want to become a photojournalist. However there was one experience that made me want to become a photojournalist. It was my freshmen year at Loyola University and I had the opportunity to spend an evening with Associated Press staffer Alex Brandon. We were hanging out in the newsroom when a report of a fire came over the scanner. We ran to his car and drove like crazy to get on scene. When I saw his photo in the paper the next day I said to myself, this is what I want to do.
Today, I am a New Orleans based freelance photographer. I mainly cover breaking news and sports. I currently provide images for Reuters, Getty Images and the Associated Press.
What are your most rewarding and most difficult experiences as a photojournalist?
The most rewarding experience for me is seeing a community come together after a natural disaster. It is amazing to see neighbors go above and beyond to help one another. The very best humankind has to offer. However it is difficult to be a witness to the pain and despair. For me, after an assignment I get to go home. The people’s lives I have photographed remain destroyed. It’s hard to shake off the emotion.
How do you feel your time at White Mountain prepared you for the work you do now?
Well, I learned a whole lot about photography while at the White Mountain School and without WMS I wouldn’t be the photographer I am today. WMS gave me time, support and opportunity. I was constantly challenged and encouraged to be creative, and I am grateful for my teachers’ support.
Check out more of Jonathan’s images at www.jonathanbachmanphotography.com.
Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman