Reuters blog archive

from Photographers' Blog:

Michelle Obama’s unscripted moment

Washington, D.C.

By Jason Reed

“Never work with children or animals” is a famous show business adage once attributed to the comedian W. C. Fields. Those words may well have crossed the mind of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama this week during an unscripted moment at the White House.

Hosting the annual unveiling of the White House Holiday decorations, the first lady was the center of attention, as she is any time that she is in public view. At this time of year all of the historical rooms on the ground floor of the White House are decorated with trees, tinsel and a gingerbread house, which all become fodder for the press cameras as we are led on a carefully stage-managed guided tour of the “State Floor” by staff and volunteers. It is something that the regular White House press corps mark on their calendars long in advance so that we don’t miss it and the resulting pictures are usually pretty.

In the last moments of this year’s event, Michelle Obama introduced to the young children of U.S. military service members the Obama family’s new pet Sunny, a female Portuguese Water dog. With the combination of children, animals and a world-recognized public figure now set, it was just a matter of time before an unscripted moment presented itself, a split second where little Ashtyn Gardner, all of two years old, lost her balance over another child’s walker and fell to the floor. Dozens of camera shutters fired at up to 10 frames per second, capturing a moment so far off script that the first lady’s facial expression said it all. To her credit the little girl popped right back up, didn’t shed a tear and carried on.

At the end of the event Michelle Obama and Ashtyn shared a little embrace.

It is the unscripted and unexpected moments that we as independent press photographers not working for the government capture that show our readers and viewers a human element in otherwise carefully stage managed White House events. If those moments make good pictures we put them out without hesitation. They round out our picture file and are often the images which are published most around the world.

from Photographers' Blog:

Growing up in the European Parliament

Strasbourg, France

By Vincent Kessler

To be totally honest I didn't see Vittoria at first glance when I took pictures of her and her mother, Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli, for the first time on September 22, 2010.

The European Parliament plenary room is a giant hemicycle for the 766 MEP’s elected from the twenty-eight Member States of the enlarged European Union. It's not easy to see in detail what's going on with each lawmaker especially when seated in the back rows, and when your shooting position is on a 10-meter-high balcony.

from Photographers' Blog:

China’s pint-sized snooker prodigy

Xuancheng, China

By Jianan Yu

My understanding of snooker starts with top world players such as China’s Ding Junhui, Britain’s Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan. But recently, a three-year-old Chinese player in Anhui province is capturing attention after a video of him playing showed up on the Internet. Some called him “Snooker Wonder Child”, others wrote, “Next O’Sullivan”. I wanted to find out how great this kid was.


Wang Wuka’s home is in a rural area on the edge of a small city. His father Wang Yin just turned 30, mainly supporting his family by selling miniature potted plants and tree trunks. Wang Yin’s favorite hobby is snooker, and he has a table at home. A few years ago, Wang met his wife Huang online. They soon got married and Huang gave birth to Wuka, or Kaka as he is called by his family.

from The Human Impact:

Child rape victim jailed in India: A journalist’s “immunity” breaks down

Her story is like so many I have heard in my years of reporting on the plight of girls and women in India.

It is a story of rape. A story of police insensitivity, of ostracism, of fear.

I think I've heard enough of these stories to be immune, unaffected by the tale of suffering that each victim recounts in the aftermath of her sexual assault.

from Photographers' Blog:

Chicago’s violent legacy gets personal

Chicago, Illinois

By John Gress

It's not every day that an assignment teaches you something about your own childhood.

When I was 7 years old my father, who shared my name, passed away and when I looked down today, I saw a boy, Ronnie Chambers Jr., who is about the same age as I was back then, sitting at my feet with RIP carved in the back of his hair. He was there mourning the loss of his father, who also shared his name.

from Our Take on Your Take:

A child’s view

A child sits in a tire on Perhentian Island, Malaysia, May 2010.  Your View/Meor M. Syafiq

This picture of a child sitting inside a tire instantly grabbed my attention as the child's eyes engage directly with the viewer. The strength of the image is enhanced by underexposure and dull tones.

View this week's Your View showcase here.

from Your View:

crying while praying

A child cries while his father prays at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur during Christmas day.  Your View/Izamuddin Mohd Zan

from UK News:

Should men be barred from the delivery room?

CHINABabies' arrivals in the world would be more straightforward if women were left alone with only a midwife to help them, as they used to be, French obstetrician Michel Odent will tell the Royal College of Midwives' annual conference in Manchester next month.******"The ideal birth environment involves no men in general," he told the Observer over the weekend.******"Having been involved for more than 50 years in childbirths in homes and hospitals in France, England and Africa, the best environment I know for an easy birth is when there is nobody around the woman in labour apart from a silent, low-profile and experienced midwife -- and no doctor and no husband, nobody else," he said.******"In this situation, more often than not, the birth is easier and faster than when there are other people around, especially male figures - husbands and doctors."******Do you agree?

from The Great Debate UK:

Should men be barred from the delivery room?

[CROSSPOST blog: 19 post: 4568]

Original Post Text:
CHINABabies' arrivals in the world would be more straightforward if women were left alone with only a midwife to help them, as they used to be, French obstetrician Michel Odent will tell the Royal College of Midwives' annual conference in Manchester next month.

"The ideal birth environment involves no men in general," he told the Observer over the weekend.

from Our Take on Your Take:

Lighting up

Your View contributor Mohammad Ashraful Huda captured this scene of a young girl lighting a cigarette for her father on a Bangladesh beach. With smoking restrictions being implemented around the world, this image goes against the trend.

View this week's Your View selection here.