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‘In the Road of Dreams’ – Introducing Ami Vitale

January 1, 2014

‘My job has never been about the traveling or about making beautiful images. It’s about getting close to people, listening and looking intimately at life and the world we live in. It’s about telling meaningful stories that will create awareness and hopefully inspire change for the better’ – Ami Vitale

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‘Ami Vitale is not just an amazing photojournalist but she is one of the finest storytellers. She tells stories with a multitude of narratives not just through one lens. Her works go to another level because of her intimacy with her subjects. Her images provoke audiences to think and to engage. To document life like she does is a dream to many photojournalists’ – GMB Akash

Photojournalist Ami Vitale has traveled to over 85 countries and has been published in such highly regarded international magazines as National Geographic, Adventure, Geo, Newsweek, Time, Smithsonian and Le Figaro. She has won numerous awards, from World Press Photo and many more. Her work has also appeared in major exhibitions and museums around the world.

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?

AMI VITALE:  ‘My biggest challenge in the beginning (and even now) is figuring out how to pitch a story to editors. It is as important to be able to write a compelling proposal as it is to be a strong photographer. Very often I will write proposals and they can be rejected initially. It takes a lot of patience and resilience to come back and pitch a story successfully after it rejected.  Success rarely comes instantaneously and for most of us, takes years and years of hard work, dedication and passion.

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I’ve seen a lot of poverty, civil unrest and destruction of life, but more importantly, I’ve also witnessed surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. I don’t think we see enough powerful and inspiring stories despite the fact that there are so many left untold. My goal is to tell these stories.

Many years, I had a maximum 2-3 weeks at home. It sounds romantic to travel the world but the reality is that you must be emotionally self reliant. I look back on experiences I had and now wonder how I got through them. They were sometimes unimaginable, often lonely and occasionally utterly terrifying. On the other hand, the people and experiences changed my life, showed me all the possibilities that exist and inspired me to continue’

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Inspiring advice:

‘To find a project and care and work on it for years. Show the dedication and passion so that we get beyond mere stereotypes and superficial reporting. Many young photographers think going to a war zone will make them famous. It not only puts their own lives in danger but the people they are with. Start in your backyard and learn how to be a good photographer at home before going off to far flung places’

– Ami Vitale

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4 Comments
  1. Great shot. Really well done.

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