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‘In the Road of Dreams’ – Introducing Robin Hammond

October 28, 2013

‘It is hard to give advice to upcoming photographers. I heard Eugene Richards say when he was asked to give advice to photographers “don’t listen to anyone” – he further clarified that by saying “be careful who you listen to”. I go with that. My entire career I’ve had people tell me what can’t be or shouldn’t be done. Yet I would see books and magazines full of pictures of people doing it – so I thought “it isn’t impossible, someone is doing it and I want to be one of those people.” I think you have to determined, even stubborn. Do what you want, they way you want – your belief in your work will show in your images. It took me a really long time to learn that’

– Robin Hammond

Robin (4)

‘Robin Hammond is a photojournalist born in New Zealand. He has been part of the photo agency Panos Pictures, which is my agency also. My colleague and friend Robin Hammond is a passionate story teller. His remarkable ability to go into the deepest part of his story and consequently depicting those emotions with his photography. This has made him unique. He has traveled more than 50 countries and his journeys continue with diversity. Robin also was recently awarded this year’s $30,000 W.Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his long term project ‘Condemned’. Robin Hammond captures both the deplorable conditions that the mentally ill endure and the overwhelming challenges that mental health workers face with limited resources and inadequate or failed health care systems in which the mentally ill have the lowest priority. A fine work which tell the tale of a brave photographer and what he witnessed’

– GMB Akash

GMB Akash: Please share the greatest challenge/s you faced in your early career as a photographer. Is there any struggle that you overcame and has helped to transform you eternally?

Robin Hammond: ‘Where to begin!

 This industry has always been difficult. The obvious answer is that it is a financial struggle to survive for most photographers but I’ve been lucky to have the support of some good clients and a very good agency. Neither has made me rich but I am happy with what I have.

There are struggles of a physical nature while doing this work of course – the worst was being arrested and held in a Zimbabwean prison for 26 days, but in the end I think the experience made me stronger and I gained an appreciation of what it was like for those on the other side of my camera.

Robin (3)

I think though, above all, has been the struggle to find my own voice. With the desire to succeed in a difficult industry I think I compromised what I wanted to say in order to meet the agenda of clients. It took me 10 years before I found my voice. That decade wasn’t wasted but I wished I found out what I really wanted to say much earlier. Now I feel I am not producing work for anyone else other than myself and for what I believe in’

Robin (1)

‘My friends, students and companions, Robin Hammond inspires me for his determination and passion for his dream. In the world of photography there are many and many photographers who are putting out their unique footsteps. But it is matter of pride and triumph that photographers are continually gifting remarkable contribution in the photography world. Let’s inspire each other and learn mutually. As Robin said, “it isn’t impossible, someone is doing it and I want to be one of those people.”  Lets together make this world a better place to live in and show stories which the world badly needs to see’ – GMB Akash

Robin (2)

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