'It's not my best photo, but...'

Paris -- When I ask AFP photographers to describe a photo that marked them somehow, they often begin the same way: “It’s not my best photo, but it’s important to me because…”

The reasons are varied -- the image marked a turning point in their careers, or changed the way they see the world, or reminded them of something from their past, or captured the essence of a story.

So Odd Andersen told me about a historic photo that came out despite technical difficulties, John MacDougall about an image of violence that ended up becoming an ad for a bank, Jewel Samad about a picture that brought back a difficult moment in his adolescence, Philippe Desmazes about a snapshot taken off a mobile phone that quickly changed the face of a country, and Aris Messinis about a photo that to him exemplifies the difficult balance photographers must strike between being professionals and human.

The photographers are right -- the images they chose aren’t the best ones they have taken, but they are all important in their own right.


Laurent Kalfala