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One To Watch: James Mott - Photojournalism

By James Mott, Diploma of Journalism

As far back as I can remember I've always wanted to be like my uncle, Mark Frost. He was a photographer, so it was only natural for me to follow in his footsteps and take on the craft of photography. With his help and guidance, I was able to grow my skills and portfolio rapidly in my first few years, and this is something I'll be forever grateful for.

I chose to study Journalism at Macleay College because the practical and hands-on approach was appealing and a good fit for me. I wanted to keep developing my knowledge of photography and learn what I needed to in order to pursue my dream of being a photojournalist and social documentary photographer. Macleay has also helped me meet new industry contacts and develop my photography portfolio.

What inspires me most as an aspiring photojournalist is the "moral outrage" surrounding social issues. There are stories that wouldn't see the light of day or given a platform if it were just told with a few words on your social media feed or on the back of your local paper. It’s the idea that my voice can be heard through the medium of photography and has the potential to evoke change.

There are a number of photojournalists who inspire me. James Nachtwey is a photojournalist who has covered every major conflict since the Vietnam Conflict. There is also the work of the late Kevin Carter, a South African Photojournalist who was made famous for his work in the war torn townships in the final years of the Apartheid, along with his Pulitzer Prize winning "Vulture picture". Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of the founding fathers of street photography, Modern Photojournalism and Magnum - arguably the most well known photo agency of all time. Lastly, Lee Jeffries is a portrait photographer who has been one of the main influences of my current work within the homeless communities of Sydney.

If I had any advice for aspiring photojournalism students, it would be to find your voice. Pitch ideas of side projects to your lecturers and look at the work of other photographers, and try to contact them through social media - you'll be surprised what a little recognition of their work and a link to a portfolio can do.

See more of James' work HERE

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