Newsmakers

Press photography is a man's world

"In all the pictures I've taken behind the scenes, it's always overcrowded with stampeding men without a single wisp of anything womanly."  Meeta Ahlawat describes the frustration at having to fight for her place as a news photographer -- and also the adrenaline rush of seeing the photographs that she has shot in the next day's newspaper. 

  

Circa 2013: It’s a hot humid afternoon in Delhi and sweat is trickling down my back and legs. The camera bag weighs more than seven kilos and the assignment for the day is a protest by the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party. There is sudden chaos and Arvind Kejriwal, the chief emerges on an open jeep waving to his supporters. There is an explosion of photographers, videographers and mobile phone snappers descending where I stand, like vultures attacking a lone prey. I recall the words of a fellow photographer, “Remember Meeta, when the riot hits, place your feet firmly on the ground and hunch a little forward. Then thrust your elbows out for protection.”

 

Meeta Ahlawat 'The limits of pushing', The Hindu, September 28, 2014