Special Guest Post by Keyhole Photo: Haiti Disaster Photojournalism

Hey kids, with the recent devastation in Haiti, our go-to photog, Meggan Haller of Keyhole Photo, felt the need to support both the victims and the aid workers in more than just $$. As one of the many photojournalists who covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (for the Cincinnati Enquirer), Meggan knows what kind of guts and gumption it takes to deliver truthful, heartrending images to those outside the disaster area. Want more of Meggan's unique take on the world? Check out Keyhole's Mardi Gras blog, showing images of the original bon temps.

Deep in the heart of disaster:
The images coming out of Haiti after its 7.0 magnitude earthquake are staggering. Visually documenting both the physical damage as well as the impact the event had on the country's people, they allow the rest of us outside of Haiti to understand the enormity of this natural disaster.

That's exactly what I love about photojournalism -- it can bring the world to you in ways that feel very immediate...ways that are easy to understand, that cut right to the quick.

But covering a natural disaster is hard work. Many times, the photographers on the scene have access to little more water or shelter than the victims, and put themselves at many of the same risks in order to get the striking photographs that people around the world need to see. They may work round the clock with very little sleep for days while the disaster is the lead news event, and struggle to balance stark imagery with the imperative to preserve the dignity of victims - the adage that "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" isn't always so easy.

Countless lives have already been lost in this earthquake, and countless others have changed forever. I know that there will be many heroes that come out of Haiti by the time the rubble is cleaned up, and I wouldn't necessarily consider journalists among them, but I truly do appreciate the work they do in voluntarily covering such a horrific event so that people like me might understand just how much an earthquake can change the world.

Check out coverage by Damon Winter and Michael Appleton for the New York Times, Carolyn Cole and Rick Loomis for Los Angeles Times (image above), and a cadre of great wire service photographers in the Washington Post, and please remember the victims in Haiti.

Thanks to some fabulous commenters and readers on our original Haiti earthquake help post, we've got a few more organizations you can check out:

Yele Haiti - Wyclef Jean supports this organization, which has teamed up with Federal Express, AmeriCares, Airline Ambassadors, Nature's Path and Clif Bars for an airlift of medical supplies, food and other emergency items. Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 now (charge will appear on your cell phone bill).

Catholic Relief Services - CRS staff were already in Haiti helping with recovery from 2008's hurricanes, and are working hard to help, distributing food and water from their warehouse in Port-au-Prince.

Doctors Without Borders - DWB are already on the scene (they already operated three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince), performing trauma care and emergency surgeries.

Mercy Corps - This organization of trade professionals (including public health experts, engineers, entrepreneurs, drivers and community organizers) works to turn crisis into opportunity, helping with disaster relief and turning devastation into a chance to rebuild better and stronger communities.

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