What makes a photo tell a good story? What is the difference between a photographer and photojournalist? What is it like to travel around the world to capture the images and the moments that define the world’s history? Learn all these and more from acclaimed photojournalists, Jason Gutierrez and Veejay Villafranca, as they share with us their own stories of capturing history through their lenses.
Jason Gutierrez began his career in news as a correspondent/photographer for the United Press International in 1995, becoming among the last Asian contributors to the American news agency before it closed down its regional coverage two years later.
He joined Agence France-Presse (AFP) in 1997, and has since covered major political upheavals, conflicts, natural disasters and major breaking news in various countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Laos, Malaysia and the tribal areas in Pakistan among others.
In 2006, Jason was awarded top prize at the Human Rights Press Awards, Asia’s biggest award ceremony honoring journalists who cover human rights issues, for a story on a paramilitary assassins targeting activists in the Philippines.
Jason has also extensively covered the conflict in southern Mindanao island in his native Philippines, from the birth of the notorious Abu Sayyaf group in the early 1990s to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) major attacks in 2008 that left more than 700,000 people displaced.
Last year, was among only a handful of journalists allowed to embed with US Marines in their final assault on Marjah, the last stronghold of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
As part of his advocacy, Jason also writes and shoots for IRIN, an independent humanitarian news agency operating under the United Nations. He is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), and is at present a member of its board of trustees.
He graduated from the Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila (PLM) in 1995, and was a recipient of the university’s presidential award for excellence, one of only three people to have received the honor in PLM’s 45 year history.
Vicente Jaime “Veejay” Villafranca (b. 1982 Philippines) was amongst seven Filipinos to be accepted in the first Asian documentary workshop of the Angkor photography festival in Siem Reap, Cambodia. After freelancing in 2006, he worked with Agence France Presse, Reuters, World Picture Network and the United Nations IRIN news wire. His project about the lives of former gang members in one of Manila’s dangerous slums, BASECO compound, garnered the 2008 Ian Parry Scholarship grant in London. He is also the recipient of the 2007-2008 Asian Center for Journalism Photojournalism program in partnership with the World Press Photo Foundation. His work has been shown in London, Lithuania, Hongkong, Phnom Pehn, France, Turkey and Manila. Veejay is represented by Getty Global Assignments in London. His ongoing projects evolve around the Filipino faith, the concept of reserved space for ethnic tribes, and illegal refugees in Southeast Asia apart from his project with the gangs.