Interview with Mustafa Hassona

My passion of photography comes after I worked as an outlet of a local newspaper where I was working in choosing the photos that will be printed in the newspaper, then I decided to work as photographer,
A photographer from Gaza Strip, Palestine works now with Anadolu Agency AA, and Freelance photojournalist, working as photographer since 2007, worked as freelancer for AFP, RETURES Besides number of international press outlets, winner of POYI 73th prize (picture of the years), winner of Sony World Photography Awards, winner of maltaphotoaward, winner of All About Photo Photographer of the Year 2019, winner of LENSCULTURE AWARDS Visual Storytelling Awards 2019, Finalist, Documentary, selected by the Guardian in Agency photographer of the year – 2018 shortlist, in 2015, and selected by the Guardian for the best photographer for 2014, number of my photos selected in the best photograph for 2018 by number on international photography outlets.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I started working as a photographer since 2007, I covered 3 devastating wars on Gaza and many important events.

Gaza city is a strong material and it encourages you to document what is happening specially that I am documenting what is happening to my people.

How did you get interested in photography?

My passion of photography comes after I worked as an outlet of a local newspaper where I was working in choosing the photos that will be printed in the newspaper, then I decided to work as photographer, I bought my first camera with my saving money and started to take photos for the news and covering the serious events and escalations.

Why you choose Photo Journalism?

I raised up on the news and violations against my people because of the Israeli occupation to my country and that widen my desire to tell the world about our life and our story.

How you will choose the stories? What will inspire you?

I didn’t choose my stories, the stories find me, I live in the hottest city in the world everyday there is a story every moment there is an idea because of Gaza I become what I am now.

Gaza inspire me, because it is the city that can’t be defeated it has people don’t know the impossible they resist to keep in their life they laugh and cry the live and die.

Can you explain us the idea or the story behind this image?

I used to cover the weekly protests on the border area so what is happening there is randomly, the duty of the photographer is to be concentrated and quick in taking the photos because if you don’t take it in time you lose it, 

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

What has been the hardest part of this image?

It is not easy to do this work because you are under risk and you have to care about your safety, and about your work you have to bring a good photos.

What steps do you take to ensure your safety?

I follow the regular steps that are learned by local training in Gaza also I wear my flak jacket and helmet with press sign and I don’t preach the fences, despite all of that nothing is grantee I have been shouted by Israeli sniper after taking this photo with 5 weeks.

Have you ever found yourself getting too attached to the people that you are photographing? How has this affected you?

I don’t get involved with the people but sure I have affected by the people especially the young protesters who lose their lives or got injured.

Unfortunately, we use to document sadness events and moments in our work, we keep it inside and we don’t relief it, we don’t have such program in Gaza to make rehabilitation sessions.

© Mustafa Hassona

What, in your opinion, is most important to consider while shooting documentary pictures? 

My safety, then I powerful of the photo and the message that the picture is delivering.

Do you have any rules that govern the way you work?

Credibility and truth and trust.

How would you define your general style photography?

My style in photos depends on action news

Could you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process?

The first thing I care about is the atmosphere around me and the angel for the photo must be create smartly.

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

What do you think makes a memorable project?

The incident and the location 

How do you know you got the shot you wanted?

My work depends on the incident at the beginning to document it. Sometime the incident that I shot inspire me so I constrain to create a shot not only to document the incident but also to deliver the message that connect to the incident.    

What would iI find in your Camera Bag?

My cameras and lenses, chargers and battery, my press card, bottle of water.

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?  

My future plans is to travel abroad to discover new places specifically in Africa. I would like to do a project for the African workers who work in gold mines  

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

© Mustafa Hassona
© Mustafa Hassona

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