I just wanted to post a quick note to the friends and family of photojournalist Camille Lepage, who was killed two days ago while on Assignment in the Central African Republic. I wanted offer my most sincere condolences to all of you, Camille was a wonderful person doing important work and the world has lost a good soul this week.
My first email from Camille was in 2011, and since then we have spoken by phone, email and Skype from all over the world. Camille originally wrote to me when I she was still in university and I have watched her grow as a person and as a photojournalist over the past three years. Here is an excerpt from one of her early emails to me that shows just how much she cared and was passionate about her work and her beliefs:
"Again, your work and your way of working are very inspiring. It's amazing to see that they are still people like you out there who do photojournalism in a pure altruistic way and who believe, just like I do, that the world can change and that we can make it become a better place! " Camille Lepage, 2012.
I am sure there is really nothing I could say to her family and friends that would make a difference right now, but I think it is important to know that Camille was following her heart and standing up for what she believed in. She was fighting for people that very few people choose to fight for, and that is a testament to what a good person she was.
I think the most appropriate tribute to Camille would be if we all took a bit of time to look at her work and to become informed about the issues that were close to her heart.
Camille Lepage's personal website
A New York Times Lensblog about Camille
An article about Camille's death by the Washington Post
And for those of you who are aspiring to do this work, I would like to leave you with an excerpt from an email I received from Camille in 2012 when she first set out on her path as a photoujnalist. I am not doing this discourage anyone from trying to make a difference, but I do think it is important to know that we are always at risk, even when we like to pretend we may not be.
"I'm off to Greece for my first freelance photojournalism work, then Cairo and then Juba.. It's exciting and a bit scary at the same time, but I'm sure I'll be ok." Camile Lepage.