Not just pretty pictures

Becky Matthews 'My Nig Fat Ugandan Wedding'

Senior Photojournalism Lecturer, Becky Matthews tells us about her background in photography and the media…


How did you get into photojournalism?

After competing a BA in Photography I moved into Press Photography through a traineeship with the Mirror Group where I completed a NVQ Level IV in Journalism (Photography). I later completed a Masters degree in Photojournalism where I began working on longer form documentary work for print and exhibition.


Best thing about it?

My career has been an absolutely privilege, I've had the opportunity to meet some truly inspirational people and work in places I could never have dreamed of. No two days have ever been the same.


Proudest moment?

'My Big Fat Ugandan Wedding' (pictured) which was shot in IDP camp in Northern Uganda was published and exhibited widely. The publicity for the work increased the profile of the charities involved and in turn provided more women with sustainable incomes. 


Heroes

Conflict Photographers like Phillip Jones Griffiths, Don Mccullin, James Natcheway and Tim Hetherington. Their images humanise war and informed public opinion, they put themselves at risk in pursuit of the truth. 

Also Jonas Bendiksen, for the way his work puts colour and beauty into the most desperate places and forces us to confront what we ignore, and Tony Ray Jones for his unique ability to capture every day life without seeming obtrusive or voyeuristic.


Hates 

Camera geeks. The camera is just the tool of the trade.


Advice to people considering studying Photojournalism

Photojournalism is not about pretty pictures, there has to be a narrative in your work that needs to be shared.