April 2011, Ishinomaki, Japan. Miho is overlooking her neighborhood and the remains of the houses. A few weeks earlier, these were the streets and gardens where she played with friends. Photo by Kasper Nybo

Our friends at Halogen TV have a post up today featuring a panel of six humanitarian photographers discussing the role and evolution of the genre. Tony Cece, Gary S. Chapman, Rhys Harper, Douglas Klostermann, Bryan Watt and Kasper Nybo talk about recent innovations and challenges. They answer “How has humanitarian photography evolved over the last 25 years?” “How does humanitarian photography influence society?” and “What role does humanitarian photography play in furthering good causes?”

Here are a few highlights (read the full article here):

  • “I’ve learned that many of the people I encounter in Third World countries don’t want us to feel sorry for them.” -Tony CeCe
  • “It is not a good idea to volunteer for large organizations that have budgets in places for media.” -Gary S. Chapman
  • “I think photojournalism, even at the amateur or hobbyist level, played a huge role in the uprising earlier this year in Egypt.” -Rhys Harper
  • “A big evolution that I see is humanitarian photography now being referred to as an actual genre.” -Kasper Nybo
  • “Every humanitarian photographer, at one time or the other asks himself/herself, ‘Is my photography really making a difference?’” -Chapman
  • “Some Japanese tsunami victims said they felt as if ‘outsiders’ – the media – came and ‘stepped on their hearts.’” -Bryan Watt

What steps should photographers responding to needs take to ensure their work is helping, not hindering?