AddThis SmartLayers

Haiti assignment for former local press photographer

A former South West newspaper photographer is to witness at first-hand the devastation caused by the Haiti earthquake.

James Breeden, who spent three years with Plymouth-based dailies The Herald and Western Morning News, was due to arrive on the Caribbean island yesterday.

He will be recording the events, and in particular the efforts of aid workers, for the BWP Media picture agency for whom he works from his base in Los Angeles.

Current government estimates in Haiti are placing the death toll at around 200,000 people and thousands of buildings remain in ruins around the capital Port-au-Prince.

This latest trip comes just a few months after James found himself covering one of last year’s biggest global news stories almost literally on his doorstep – the LA fires.

The 24-year-old told The Herald: “I have been to Iraq but I think I’m probably more nervous about this. I have completely mixed opinions about it.

“It’s the kind of opportunity that every press photographer awaits but, at the same time, it is an absolute tragedy and it’s going to be horrific to see.

“A lot of agency and staff photographers are pulling out of Haiti now. It’s almost two weeks since the earthquake hit and it’s purely a cost issue.

“The national newspapers throughout the world can only afford to keep their staff in the country for so long.

“My aim is to fill in. I’m there for a minimum of a week but it could be a long-term thing, for a few months at least.”