Yulia Shandurenko is an assignment desk analyst at ITAR-TASS Photo Agency. ITAR-TASS is Russia’s central information agency established in 1904. Yulia is a part of a journalist exchange program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, DC.
Q. What is your most recent project?
A. I organized a photo report about 50 religious fanatics at the Perm territory in their log house in the abandoned village of Cherepanovo, near the village of Nyrob, some 1230 km (765 miles) northeast of Moscow.
Q. Do you have any competitions similar to CPOY in Russia?
Q. How do professional photo organizations in Russia find new photographers?
A. We constantly receive portfolios from photojournalists from all regions of Russia and we evaluate them to decide whether to work with these photojournalists or not.
Q. After attending news categories judging, do you agree with the judges’ decisions?
A. I saw many bright, qualitative, interesting images of various aspects of human life get eliminated and lots of pictures of violence, human suffering, injury and funerals chosen as winners. I find this to be one dimensional and I’m afraid of this tendency in modern photojournalism because it does not create or find something beyond what you can see. It’s rather more like exploitation of human suffering and a display of disrespect to victims of tragedies. I know that many of my colleagues may disagree with me, but I believe that the real mastery of photography is achieved without abusing the subjects in your reporting.
Q. Are these discussions any different than the ones you would have in your agency in Russia?
A. No, I don't feel like we have different visual standards. ITAR-TASS Photo Agency is working for international subscribers, our images conform to worldwide standards.
Interview by Hany Hawasly