Ettore Chiereguini, a photographer from Brazil shares some pro tips on photographing riots, demonstrations and protests on PetaPixel. From gear to deportment, it’s a great read for those involved in photojournalism or those that aspire to be.
Three tips include
#1. Be ready and don’t be afraid to get closer to your subject.
#2. Front shots are always better than back shots (though, of course, some back shots can give you more information about who’s protesting).
#3. If police are there, they can improve your safety, but do not stay too close as some objects thrown at the police can hit you.
Via PetaPixel and Ettore Chiereguini
As a credentialed photojournalist based in Los Angeles I have covered many riots and protests here, as well as wildland fires. Some other tips:
Pack some food and water to take with you. You need to keep your energy up.
Wear comfortable shoes, you are going to walk a lot.
Arrive early and park in a safe location.
Better to stay on the periphery – being trapped in the middle of a stampeding crowd being tear-gassed is not where you want to be. It’s useful to have packed a set of goggles in your kit if canisters of tear gas starts flying.
Be on the lookout for professional agitators. Their job is to stir up everyone else and then disappear when things get rough.
Use your common sense. Maintain your sense of peripheral vision – know what is going on around you. Check your 360 regularly. It’s easy to get tunnel vision in tense situations, especially if your eye is glued to your camera. No harm in working in tandem with another photographer to take care of each other’s back.
Take a moment every once in awhile to check if your lens is still clean.
Good luck trying to get names of the people in your images for your cutlines if you need those.
Watch out for people trying to steal your gear.
Riots and protests have been happening for decades. Whether they are successful in achieving their objective is debatable… don’t get hurt in the process of documenting them.
Submit your images quickly -citizen photographers may beat you to your editors desk.
Enjoy the opportunity to be a part of history.