As major newsrooms continue to shed staffers, many have become even more dependent on the freelance photographers who cover armed conflict around the world.

Freelance photographers are “increasingly more important because of the economic restraints many news organizations face these days,” said Akili Ramsess, executive director of the National Press Photographers Association.

They operate as independent contractors, often underpaid and under-resourced, funding their own equipment and health insurance as they venture into dangerous scenes to show the world what war looks like.