Liberia: Photographers Warned of Big Challenge

The National Photographers Union of Liberia (NAPUL) has been warned of a big challenge posed to them by the digital world which has made many amateur photographers to obstruct the work of professional photographers by the use of smartphones and other cameras at occasions.

Serving as keynote speaking at the World Photography Day celebration on Providence Island Monday, 19 August, the president of the Liberia National Cultural Union (LINCU) Mr. Kekura M. Kamara challenged Liberian photographers to be creative to be able to face the challenges of today.

"You got so many now, it's a big challenge to you because everybody now taking picture," Mr. Kamara warns. He asserts that these days when photographers go to an occasion, they encounter everybody there taking pictures, using smartphones and other cameras.

According to Mr. Kamara, amateur photographers would stand in any position to take photos, even if they will be obstructing the professional photographers in the process.

In the wake of the challenge facing the sector, Mr. Kamara however encourages photographers here to emulate experienced photographers, including James Fasuquoi who he says has published to photo books and earns money from them.

Mr. Kamara indicates that photography has lots of money, but everything depends on photographers.

"Somebody said the government is not recognizing us. You got to make yourself, you got to begin to put yourselves together and do things. Invite them to workshop. Invite them to exhibition - photos exhibition. Invite them, let [them] see your creativity," he says.

Mr. Kamara who also has a background in photography, explains that no newspaper sells without picture, adding that in a society like Liberia where many people do not like reading, nobody will buy a book when it is just written without putting pictures in it.

He encourages photographers here to know their worth, as he calls for the need to do their business with an agreed set price so as to stop having one group charging customers less prices while professional photographers charge more money.

He warns that division in prices for photos will undermine the business because customers will often go for the less prices offered by the amateur photographers.

Mr. Kamara tells the photographer union here that it is a very important institution that is needed in the society.Additionally, he calls on the Government of Liberia to look at the photographers union as an institution that is capable of generating its own money and employing more young people.

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