Carlos M. Duarte G. Fotografia

carlosmduartefotografia.webs.com

Biography

 

I began to like photography right at 19 years of age, when I didn´t know what to do with my life. After I read the book, “The best pictures of the 20th Century” by Time-Life Magazine, and watched the documentary “Photographer of War” that depicted the life of photojournalist James Nachtwey, I decided to become a photographer. I began studying photography in a self-taught kind of way, since in Guatemala there are no schools on this matter. I entered the courses on professional photography that were given in careers of Publicity and Journalism in the School of Communications Sciences at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala (USAC), as well as I read book after book on professional photography in the librarias of the same university. Also I looked information on the internet. As time went by, I rolled in Journalism School.

On the second year of my career, at the end of 2004 an opportunity to work at the biggest newspaper in Guatemala, Prensa Libre (PL), was announced in one of the courses. The job was to be part of a writing team to work at the web page of PL and I decided to apply for the job, did the exams and the tests that they demanded and won one of the two job positions that they offered, so I began to work on a mass media newspaper by the end of the second year of my journalism career. As I began working on the webpage, I realized that the job wasn´t what I expected because instead of going out on the street and find any kind of news that were to be published, I was supposed to upload the programming of the cinemas and the obituaries of people that had passed away that day. At first I thought that the job was tedious and boring, so I began to ask permission to get on the streets and find important news that were to be published on the news alerts and last-minute updates, after I was done doing the obituaries and the programming of the cinemas. When I received the authorization I dedicated myself to walk the streets of the Historic Center and ride the buses of the city (since I didn´t own a car), in search of the important and interesting news and reportages that I could write, post on the web page and give to know to the people. I was able to write two special edition journals and also an endless amount of last-minute updates and news alerts. But my thing was still photography so I still waited for my opportunity to begin in this field, opportunity that was given to me on February 14, 2005, as I began an internship in the photography department, going to work including on weekends. While I was there, I was able to publish several pictures on the printed version (sadly the web page didn´t have an image app at the time), and I was also able to receive a course on photography given by the senior editor of PL, the Cuban Celso Rodríguez.

By July 2005, a misunderstanding with various people, especially directors and members of the board of directives, I was fired from PL and began to walk the path of the unemployed. The good thing about it is that it was only for two months when I met the correspondent for photography to the Reuters News Agency, Daniel Leclair. I told him my situation so he allowed working with him as a Stringer (assistant), in the coverage of news events of international interest in Guatemala. So I worked as a Freelance Photographer for the first time in my professional career, while I did freelance jobs like tourism guide and a producer for a documentary on the conflict in Guatemala. While working for Reuters I was able to get to know more about the reality of my country, as I was able to know more about the hidden history of my nation, while given coverage to endless events of international importance. By May 2007, I got a photography job at local newspaper called La Hora after working for almost two years with Reuters. In La Hora I worked covering local news as well as doing photo essays and reportages for the weekend edition. While working for both Reuters and La Hora I was able to cover the General Elections that my country held by November 2007.

An involuntary mistake where a photo circulated around the world with my name on it cost me the stringing position at Reuters, so I was left working for a full year only with La Hora. In February of 2008, an initiative to create a project of a news agency that was to report and inform on Guatemala to the world was created, calling it The Guatemalan Bureau of Information, and they summoned me to be a part of their team in the city, and I still collaborate now and then with this agency currently. In August 2008, I began working on Spanish News Agency EFE, under Staff Photographer from El Salvador, Ulises Rodríguez, also as a Stringer, in the same job as a did for Reuters.

I worked for EFE until December 2009, where a misunderstanding between my bosses and me shut the doors closed for the agency to my collaborations, leaving working freelance for numerous webpages and The Guatemalan Bureau of information.