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Sometimes our photographers do more than take images—they also help.
In Afghanistan on a story about maternal mortality, Lynsey Addario came across these two women on the road. Photographing them against a stark background, Addario was struck that they were out alone.
It turns out one was in labor.
“We offered to take them to the hospital, but they said they needed the husband's permission," Addario told my colleague David Beard. Addario and her guide went, got the husband's permission, returned, then drove the woman to a hospital, where the baby was delivered.
It was a happy counterpoint to a grim assignment. “So many women,” Addario said, “die in Afghanistan because they have no access” to medical attention.
The image, from 2015, was selected as one of our best of the decade.
While journalists are cautioned in school not to get involved in the story, some help in different ways. Through his Photo Ark, Joel Sartore has catalogued more than 9,800 vulnerable animals, raising awareness about the massive decline of species. Wildlife filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert not only have photographed big cats in Africa, but started an initiative to buy conservation land and have persuaded some Masai people not to hunt them.
In just a few minutes, one act of kindness paid off for Australian photographer Matthew Abbott. He told us earlier this month that he was helping move trash bins away from fire-threatened homes in Australia when he spotted a frightened kangaroo, bouncing by the flames, searching for safety.
His good deed put him in a perfect position for an iconic image.