Photographs do not only take us back in time. They also have the power to open the ears of our hearts through compelling stories.
For freelance photojournalist Guillem Sartorio, photography and the art of storytelling go hand-in-hand as his photographs never fail to speak volumes.
Born and raised in Barcelona, family vacations are where Sartorio’s sweet love story with the camera began.
“I was lucky enough to start travelling at a very young age. My mom was actually the one who used the camera during family trips and I only started taking pictures when I was old enough to use it [the camera],” he said.
Since then, his love for photography has grown immensely, becoming a pivotal part of his career as a storyteller. The 34-year-old has worked as a reporter for various Spanish print and multimedia outlets. As a freelance photojournalist, he has also used his camera to tell stories from different parts of the world including Mozambique, Iraq and Thailand.
“News, media and international affairs are my passion. Photojournalism is just the tool that I use to tell the news,” he clarified.
As of July 2017, he has been based in South Africa. Through being behind the lens, he has told a variety of South African stories in relation to various momentous events including service delivery protests, national government elections and the 2021 July unrest.
Having had the opportunity to travel the world and capture images of people from different walks of life, the photojournalist believes that humanity has been the greatest lesson of all.
“The most important thing is how you treat people when you work with them. We [photojournalists] are easily seen as vultures, especially when reporting on situations where people don’t want to be photographed. You need to treat people as people – with respect and humanity”.
Additionally, although getting the perfect photograph is worth striving towards, Sartorio has learnt to never put his ethics in the backseat.
“People should always be more important than you trying to take a nice photograph. Some photographers will always want to go for the nice image no matter what. For me, my ethics are more important than anything. I believe that in order to be a journalist, you need to be a good person”.
When he is not working hard to capture moments and tell compelling stories, Sartorio can be found enjoying a run, in the gym or on a refreshing hike. A good dose of House and Techno music is also regularly enjoyed.
With countless memorable pictures captured and moving stories told, the lensman still believes the best is yet to come and looks forward to what each day holds. When asked what his most memorable story has been thus far, he laughingly answered “the one to come, hopefully”.
Moving forward, Sartorio intends to continue his storytelling through his lens and focus. He is also not opposed to moving to a different part of the continent in order to keep growing and learning from his industry and the people he gets to photograph.
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