A man holds a giant pencil as he takes part in a solidarity march in the streets of Paris after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, France January 11, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]
Stephane Mahe: I covered the arrival of the heads of state at the start of the solidarity march. I then made my way through the streets, which were packed with people holding "Je suis Charlie" banners, to the Place de la Nation. It was the end of the day, the light was soft as I walked around the statue, "The Triumph of the Republic", looking for a picture with the French flag and a pencil.
I was fortunate that everything fell into my frame and I was able to combine dramatic light, a dynamic gesture with the giant pencil, and an interesting group around the statue. People online have called it "The Pencil Guiding the People", in reference to the famous painting by Eugene Delacroix, "Liberty Guiding the People". I find the comparison really interesting and it was a historic march, but I am surprised that my photograph has become so symbolic of the day.