Startup Photo Agency Highlights Iraqi Photographers’ Work
Photojournalists Kamaran Najm and Sebastian Meyer recently launched Metrography, a photo agency that now represents the work of 65 Iraqi photojournalists.
Speaking to Wired, Meyer explains the agency’s origins:
Kamaran Najm, a Kurdish photographer, started Metrography in 2009 while he was working as a photo editor for an Iraqi news magazine. He was looking for photographs and realized there was no central place to go for images from Iraq. So he decided to start one. Kamaran and I had been friends since 2008 and when I moved to Iraq in 2009 he asked me if I’d help him with Metrography. The first year was slow going, mainly because we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do. We dabbled in stock imagery and tried our hand at breaking news, but we eventually realized that we could do something much more important, namely to create a culture of photojournalistic storytelling in Iraq.
To that end we’re focusing more on running workshops and trainings so Iraqi photographers can learn how to shoot at the level demanded by Western clients. We leave the breaking news—for the most part—to the wire agencies which do an excellent job and we focus on the features, portraits, and intimate stories.
Image: An Arab migrant worker stands in the corridor of the Asia Hotel in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq. Photo by Ahmed Al Husseini.