YOUNG PHOTOJOURNALIST USES LENS TO DRIVE CHANGE

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A young photojournalist, Mr. Lachlan Eddie, is utilizing his skills in photography to drive change in his community. He is an emerging photographer with a passion to work with people in every work of life. His five years in the photography industry have been shedding light on the voiceless, especially young people, women, and children.

He is being recognized in the media industry as an imminent photojournalist working with the Solomon Star Newspaper Company. He also joined the One More Shot team of photographers in the Solomon Islands to raise funds for a sick person with cancer who later went to diagnose in Fiji.

Lachlan lives by the common motto: Pictures tell a thousand words. Through that, he is determined social change can happen through photography, and it is an avenue the country needs to support young people with.

He said, “The changes I want to see in this country is, we need to support our filmmakers, writers, photographers and content creators in advancing their dreams and skills in terms of building a huge hub for youths.”

“Currently the country has Dream Cast Hub but it is too small to accommodate more aspiring youths who want to be involved in writing, photography, videography, content creator and many more.”

“These bunches of visual artists have contributed much in some changes in our communities and societies as well as the country as a whole,” he said with a smile.

Lachlan started his photography skills after buying a Haus phone at Noro Telecom. He used the Haus phone to capture photos and posted them on his Facebook account. From there the love for photography developed. 

He said, “I follow my Uncles, Navo Philip, Jayson Philip, and others to renovate some staff house and warehouse at Rinngi. When we got money from our contract, I manage to buy a Haus phone at Noro Telekom. After that, I started to capture some pictures and uploaded them to my Facebook account. From there my love for photography started to develop.”

“The interest in photography skills continues to rise. I shoot landscapes and portray photos, and posted on social media. As people commented on my photos it impresses me to continue to capture more pictures and continue to upload.”

“One day I send a friend request to a person from Norway but living in Australia. He is a professional photographer. His name is Kristian Melgard. He married Rossy from PNG.

We were close friends, and then one day, my friend Kristian after seing all my photo uploads on Facebook, he asks me. Lachlan, you seem interested in photography. “Would you like to study photography online?

Then I replied to him yes. Later Kristian registered my name and paid my fee to study photography online with the Shaw Academy, an online photography class.

Not only that, but his friend Kristian also bought him a Nikon D90 Camera and Sigma 17-50mm lens which boosted his passion for photography to sour to new heights.

Reaching this far, Lachlan commended his mother for the dedication, determination, and belief that rested on him. She is the one behind him to find his dreams in photography and graduated in Media and Journalist.

He said, “I was raised by a single mother and have grown up living my childhood life at Ughele village with my mother. I got the name “Lachlan” from a white man called Lachlan Shyves who came to Ughele in the western province, and live with the Chief of Ughele called Willie Lianga.”

My mum was a house girl for chief Lianga and his wife late Dyrin. My mum got married to my stepdad so I live with my grandfather Eddie Hoe who is a farmer and fisherman. He supports our family by selling his produce from his garden and fishing.

Lachlan is excited that despite the difficulties encountered during his entire childhood, he continues to receive support from his mother, grandfather, and close relatives.

Lachlan aims to be a lawyer. However, plans were changed when he dropped out from form six at Beulah Provincial School and no financial assistance to study law at the University of the South Pacific.

Thus, he decided to change his career pathway and went to study journalism and media at Solomon Islands National University. After completing the course, he went back to his home village to support his mother.

In 2017 he went back to Honiara, searching for a job in his qualification in journalism and media.

Currently, Lachlan work as a photojournalist with the Solomon Star Newspaper Company supporting the newsroom team. While with the newsroom team, he was fortunate to learn from Charles Kadamana.

“I learned some tips from Charles on how to shoot photos for the newspaper. It was my first time to know that newspaper pictures are different. Newspaper pictures tell a story and catch people’s attention.”

“Newspaper pictures are to attract the reader to buy the paper and as a photographer, you must select good pictures for a front page. Kadamana left Solomon Star. Solomon Star Manager wants me to take up the photography work replacing Charles Kadamana. It was a big challenge for me.”

“I am still young and new to the photographer department where Kadamana has left to me. Working in a Newspaper Company is not an easy task because you have to meet deadlines. But I slowly adapted to the work because some Solomon Star journalist supports me to do my work.”

“There is more room for improvement. I want to thank God for his ultimate support towards my work. He is our Lord and he deserves to be praised,” he said.

Besides working as a photojournalist, Lachlan created a personal Facebook page early this year. He called his Facebook page Matazonga Photography. Mata means-Eye Zonga-Accuracy. So Matazonga means Eye Accuracy.

If you an aspiring photographer, Lachlan encourages you to keep shooting and shooting and also teach yourselves from lots of photography tutorial in YouTube.

Looking to the future, Lachlan plans to own a photoshoot studio and ID Photo studio. His major challenge currently is, machine to print photo ID.

Plans for my photography In the future I want to run a photoshoot studio and ID Photo studio because some people ask me to shoot their ID photo but I don’t have a machine to print the photo ID.  

BY LYNTON AARON FILIA


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