Journalism, Photography

IWD2016: Françoise Demulder ‘Fifi’, war photographer

Today, the 8th of March, is International Women’s Day. This day serves as an occasion to celebrate the achievements of women, but also to campaign for gender parity. Many people wrongly believe gender parity only benefits women, but in fact it benefits society as a whole, propelling economic, social and cultural progress.

One of those women who had an effect on social and cultural progress was photojournalist Françoise Demulder.

Source: Copyright: Georges Beutter

Copyright: Georges Beutter

She once said that she hated war, “but felt compelled to document how it is always the innocent who suffer, while the powerful get richer and richer”.

She was the first woman to ever win a World Press Photo award, in 1977, for a photo of a Palestinian woman pleading to a Phalange militiaman in Karantina, East Beirut.

Source: World Press Photo Copyright: Françoise Demulder

Source: World Press Photo
Copyright: Françoise Demulder

She was known by her nickname, ‘Fifi’, apparently coined by Yasser Arafat, whom she met during the war in Lebanon.

She started her career in Vietnam, documenting the onset of the war in 1975 and she went on to photograph most of the major conflicts of the end of the 20th century. She was one of the few women who managed to forge a strong professional reputation in the predominantly male world of photojournalism.

She passed away in Paris in 2008, aged 61. You can read her obituary and more information about her life and work in this obituary published by The Guardian. This website has a collection of pictures of her through the years. Some of her work is available here.

To know more about International Women’s Day, go to

2016 02 29 Tearsheet Financial Times Portrait of Mochtar Riady, Lippo Group
Photography, Published work, Updates

Tear sheets: Portrait for the Financial Times

Last month I shot a portrait of Mochtar Riady for the Business Life section of the Financial Times.

It was published on all the print editions of the Financial Times on February 29, 2016. It was also published on all the online editions.

2016 02 29 Tearsheet Financial Times Portrait of Mochtar Riady, Lippo Group. Published on Business Life, on all international editions, page 12, February 29, 2016. (Rodrigo Ordonez)

Mochtar Riady is the founder and chairman of multinational conglomerate Lippo Group. According to Forbes, he currently ranks #6 in the list of Indonesia’s richest and #854 globally.

Executives have limited time, so shooting portraits is an art that requires a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. In another post I will share more details about how to approach an assignment like this.

Photography, Published work

Tear sheets: WirtschaftsWoche (Germany)

Tear sheets of editorial photographs published in German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche (aka WiWo) on a story on medium-size enterprises in Indonesia, featuring Eztu Glass and Martha Tilaar Group.

2015 10 09 Tearsheet WirtschaftsWoche SMEs in Indonesia print Eztu Glass (Rodrigo Ordonez)

2015 10 09 Tearsheet WirtschaftsWoche SMEs in Indonesia print Martha Tilaar (Rodrigo Ordonez)

2015 10 09 Tearsheet WirtschaftsWoche SMEs in Indonesia print Martha Tilaar (Rodrigo Ordonez)

The story was also published online.

2015 10 09 Tearsheet WirtschaftsWoche SMEs in Indonesia web Eztu Glass (Rodrigo Ordonez)


Professional photographer in Indonesia

I recently renewed my professional membership in the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA).

I am the only professional photographer who is a member of these organizations in Indonesia.

While these two organizations are based in the US and their services are mostly oriented to photographers working stateside, I think it is worth it to pay the membership dues to support their work towards protecting copyright and other collective interests.

I set high standards for my work and my service, so being a member of these organizations helps me to continually improve my skills. I also subscribe to both organizations’ codes of ethics (ASMP’s & NPPA’s).

There might be many people out there claiming to be photographers, but how professional are they? They might be unreliable or simply disregard basic ethical standards while working on a story.

You can remove uncertainty out of the equation when you work with a certified professional photographer and video producer. Let’s work together!

Jakarta governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo (standing, right), the presidential candidate of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), poses for a photograph with his wife Iriana after casting his ballot at the polling station in Taman Suropati in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on July 9, 2014. Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy and home to around 240 million people. The elections on July 9, 2014 mark the third direct presidential elections since former dictator Suharto was overthrown in 1998. (Rodrigo Ordonez)

It’s crowded out there! (Copyright: Rodrigo Ordonez)