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Desiree Byrd • 10 years ago

She died doing her life's work though. It is a tragedy for sure, but there is that, at least.

David Sorcher • 10 years ago

Seriously Desiree?!!! You're really looking for a silver lining in this? She was only 26 years old…hardly enough time to amass any "life's work". Yes, it is indeed a tragedy for sure, and even more so for the people of the region who didn't put themselves in the middle of it by choice.

Aaron • 10 years ago

So it's more useful to keep focusing on the obvious and totally dismiss her 'life's work', which, at 26 years old, she has probably accumulated more off than most people who've lived and died on this earth?

Finding the 'Silver Lining' is probably more respectable than pointless boo-hoo-ing yes? And it's not like Desiree was saying anything inappropriate. She was *Accepting* and *Appreciating* Camile's "Life's Work".

Then you have to remember that she's putting a face and voice on those who didn't, in your own words, 'put themselves in the middle of it by choice', so that people like you can show your concern for them.

David Sorcher • 10 years ago

I was in no way dismissing her life's work Aaron. Only pointing out that she was far too young and that the majority of her life's work should have been ahead of her. The fact that she died doing what she loved doing does not make it any better for her or the loved ones she has left behind. I also did not point out that she put herself there by choice to diminish her or her work. I have the greatest amount of respect for journalists who enter into these regions to show the world what is happening there. The death of yet another one of them is a great tragedy that i will continue to see as having no silver lining to speak of. What you have read into my words seems inaccurate at best.

Aaron • 10 years ago

again, the assumption is that you have to be old to have done most of your life's work, not to mention it's pointless 'coulda shoulda woulda' kind of thinking, because, even if majority of her life's work should have been ahead of her, so what?

It's not like we're learning from a mistake here with hindsight.

I may have been overzealous in my reply, and I apologise, and yet, if I'm honest, in this context, your reply isn't exactly begging to be interpreted any other way

morningcoffee • 10 years ago

You're reply was spot-on

David Sorcher • 10 years ago

Actually Aaron, to be honest, my reply wasn't "begging to be interpreted" at all. It was pretty straight forward. It is you who chose to add your own special interpretation to it.

And considering that Camille was only a couple of years out of school i would say that it a fairly logical assumption to make that her best work was indeed ahead of her. I've been shooting for over 30 years and i still hope that my best work is yet to come. So what, you say? So what that a photographer who has received at such a young age is cut off in life before she has even really had a chance to get started? Well, for starters, she is now one less dedicated photojournalist in the field who is willing to risk her life to bring important stories to the rest of the world for little pay and security. I think you are wrong that there is nothing to be learned here in hindsight. If nothing else it raises concern for the safety of these freelance photographers who regularly put themselves in dangerous situations without any guarantees. News organizations depend more and more on freelance journalists, yet they offer them almost no support in most situations like this. Here's an article on the subject you might find interesting. https://medium.com/journali...

Aaron • 10 years ago

Let's just say there's always multiple ways to view something, nobody how straightforward one thinks it is. What's straightforward to me might not be straightforward to others, vice versa. It's borderline arrogant to believe otherwise.

For example, my sentence "It's not like we're learning from a mistake here with hindsight" does not mean, in your own words "...there is nothing to be learned here in hindsight". I'm saying that learning from hindsight wasn't the point.

To me, that was pretty straightforward. I meant there may or may not be lessons to be learnt but that's not the point. There was nothing in my reply that even remotely implied that there were *no* lessons to be learnt, to me at least. Even then, you interpreted it in a different way, and that's not unexpected. It would be foolhardy and arrogant of me to expect everyone to interpret everything the same way - and that's what makes this world annoying, AND wonderful, at the same time isn't it? The dynamism and multitudes of meanings one can extract from the same experience, because it's all coloured by our own values, experience, etc.

As long as something is put out in the open and is viewed and digested by another person with differing values, experiences and experiences, it is up for 'interpretation'.

So am I just gonna take the easy way out and say "it's you who chose to put an interpretation on it" as well? Sure, that's a half truth, though the other half is that my delivery could have been better.

Communication is always both ways. Of course I had influence over how you interpreted my words. Vice Versa.

Not to mention... Never Ass-U-Me.

Anyway, I'll summarise our disagreement:

You're focusing on what could have been, i.e., what a waste.

We're focusing what has been. i.e. being grateful for all she has done.

2 sides of the same coin? Maybe.

Freddy • 10 years ago

There's always a silver lining to be had, and I pity those who don't see or look for it. She knew she was in a dangerous place, she knew being killed was a real option, and she did what she did anyway. She must have known that her fate was not a "if" but a "when," and if anyone finds anything to do that drives them to such a length of passion, I am jealous of them.

David Sorcher • 10 years ago

So you believe it is the fate of all conflict journalists to die on the job in the field of action. Not a matter of "if", but "when"? Really?

Freddy • 10 years ago

It's not inevitable, but it's treated as such by those who are there. If you're going into combat zones and conflict areas and not thinking and acting as if you could be killed at any time, you're being irresponsible and naive. And while I admit I overstated my point before, over a long enough timeline, living in those areas whether or not you're a journalist, the odds of survival start to drop. Look at the life expectancy for those who live in CAR compared to USA, for example.

morningcoffee • 10 years ago

Agree with you Jake

RandomDesign • 10 years ago

Yes. Conflict journalism is a very, very dangerous line of work. Anyone who gets into that line of work not knowing that they are putting their life on the line is either deluding themselves or completely oblivious to reality.

It's as sad a reality as the one that makes the line of work so necessary in the first place.

David Sorcher • 10 years ago

That is undoubtably true Random, but that certainly doesn't mean that death on the job is inevitable or that people who choice this very important line of work have a death wish. Just ask James Natchwey.

amiright • 10 years ago

A quote from her interview:

"One important thing is to keep an open heart towards others and what I
might not understand — I’m not one to judge, and the best I can do is to
learn from each other’s differences. Differences are what makes each of
us unique and fascinating."

Peace, girl. Send lots of love and light to the region from the other side.

Craig Williams • 10 years ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Camille in Juba, at a peace concert in 2012. She was a truly beautiful person, with a real passion ,not just for her work, but for living life to it's fullest. sadly life is incredibly cheap in this area of Africa. I'll miss Camille. R.I.P x

Guest • 10 years ago
Nicolas James Bates • 10 years ago

These photographers sometimes spend weeks at a time imbedded with people who are fully armed at all times.

I'm not sure if you're just referring to where you live and being a non-photojournalist, but to assume you can "just leave" when someone has a weapon and you're literally in the middle of nowhere is a bit ignorant.

I don't mean to detract from the story, however, which is definitely a tragedy. She was so young.

Matthew Neumann • 10 years ago

Ridgecity knows nothing about photojournalism or journalism in general, apparently. "Just leave". Lol.

Guest • 10 years ago
Derricklytle • 10 years ago

Risking your life for the lives of those who can't voice the atrocities happening to them is worth your life.

Robert Johnson • 10 years ago

No job is worth your life? The military?

nabiki • 10 years ago

But in the military you're (at least in theory) properly trained to be in a combat zone and to defend yourself. And there are rules about what you do and do not do once you're there, aimed at keeping you alive if possible.

Are photojournalists given much security training before landing in conflict zones? I work in conflict zones, but in the health sector myself, so I'm genuinely asking. This idea of embedding with a combatant group and traveling alone with them to remote regions deliberately away from peacekeepers, while you yourself are unarmed and powerless if something goes wrong, is really concerning to me. Is this typical practice for war journalists? How long do people usually spend in the initial 'embedding' process (i.e., gaining trust, etc)? There are public health projects where workers spend years developing relationships before starting a project when it's something sensitive or dangerous. So I'd worry about being able to trust the group I embed with, and also whether my presence in that group might attract violence from an opposing group, if, say, they want to target westerners, or wanted to steal my belongings, for instance. It just seems that you'd lose your impartiality once you begin traveling with combatants, which is quite scary.

I feel it shouldn't have to be quite so risky to be a war photojournalist - there *are* measures that can mitigate your risk in a conflict zone, but I imagine it must be difficult as a freelancer without an organization behind them. I'd love to learn more about what's typical for freelance journalists working in these environments; my own experience (including the CAR last year) has been with the large organizations and I was quite shocked when I read what Camille was doing when she died. Very sad too; her work really was excellent and I'm sorry we won't see more of it.

Matthew Neumann • 10 years ago

I didn't suggest it was worth her life. But your comment to just leave is still ignorant.

Aezreth • 10 years ago

Damn, she was talented far beyond her years, extremely tragic and a great loss to the photographic community too :(

Chris • 10 years ago

Dang, she was my age, and I often work in Angers. I envied her until now, right now, I'm not so sure anymore

tiger • 10 years ago

The conflict in Central Africa is very intense and dangerous and what you would call a red zone. It is actually one of the more dangerous areas in Africa. A very dangerous job I doubt many photo journalists would want to take. It was very courageous of her and not only that she was with one of the militia forces. It is very possible that while she was riding around with them, they were flanked by the opposing militia force and taken out by surprise. Very sad for such a young person with a lot of potential.

Azim Aziz S • 10 years ago

we risk our life for a photo. she deserve an honor or award.

Thekaph • 10 years ago



Neha Sethi • 10 years ago

Its really a Heartbreaking sad happening, May God make her soul in peace ... Amen

thoughtplanter • 10 years ago

ugh <3

Guest • 10 years ago

Wow, that is very sad. Man, that is horrible. Her work is awesome.

Fern • 10 years ago

Lord only knows what those savages did to her before she died........... disgusting - all the more reason to wipe those beasts off the face of this planet

CurrentCo • 10 years ago

Good lawrd she was beautiful.

SirW4LL • 10 years ago

Reste en paix Ange-vine.

Mako • 10 years ago

Ridiculously Horrible. I guess we should be appreciative of youthful idealism ...

Diane Moffatt • 10 years ago

Many people of all ages die there. Pity they aren't white too.

lisa trifone • 10 years ago

Yes, but unlike them, she CHOSE to be there.....while they would run away, she would go forward, to document what was happening while no one cared to look. THAT is the tragedy -- not that she was "white", but that she basically sacrificed her life for those "many people" you mentioned.

Werchange • 10 years ago

Too young and gone too soon. Ms Lepage lived the life that few of us get to experience and she tried to make a difference in the world with her pictures.

Clouds in a jar • 10 years ago

In Hell there are no killers to be found or pictures to be taken and in effect this is just another life wasted. PICTURES no matter how great or for whatever cause or reason is not worth risking your life. There is no value greater than life. Heartbreaking for sure but totally expected... like a death wish you could say.

Vincent • 10 years ago

Your right, but so wrong. There is no value greater than life. This is what she was trying to show the world. A tragic loss of life that we are doing nothing to stop. Her life's work was to shine a light on how valuable life is and how tragic our world can be. She sacrificed her life in the name of life. I doubt she had any sort of death wish, but instead a purpose she could not ignore.

Ralph • 10 years ago

Honestly, a lot of photojournalism covering war is shot by photographers who are risking their lives by default, and willingly. It's the only way to get those shots, and often they believe it is worth risking their life. James Nachtway said: "We must look at it. We're required to look at it. We're required to do what we can about it. If we don't, who will?" No warphotographer wants to die, but they are driven to do what they can and they use their network, knowledge, instinct and precautions to minimize the risk as much as they can. But the risk is sadly a part of the job. That's what makes people like these heroes. They are willing to risk bodily harm or even death to show the world what is happening and in a way to stop these wars and suffering, only armed with their camera. And even if they manage to survive a career as warphotographers, they will remain mentally scarred for the rest of their lives. So according to those photographers, yes, it is worth risking your life.