Last night the International Center of Photography honored photographers working in photojournalism, fine-art and fashion at the 30th annual Infinity Awards. The awards were inaugurated in 1985 as a way to recognize outstanding achievements by photographers working in various genres within the medium.
It was the first Infinity Awards ceremony for new ICP director Mark Lubell, who promised the crowd that the organization would remain at the “center of the conversation” about the medium. Perhaps as a way to illustrate that point, ICP arranged for a drone to photograph partygoers during the cocktail hour, then put those photographs on-screen at the beginning of the ceremony.
The Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement Award was given to German-born photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, who as an expatriate in South Africa during Apartheid, made some of the most famous images of Nelson Mandela, and encouraged black South African journalists to pick up cameras and tell their stories.
James Welling was honored for his contribution to fine-art photography; Steven Klein for fashion; Stephanie Sinclair and Jessica Dimmock were honored for photojournalism; Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were honored for their publication Holy Bible; and Samuel A. James received the Young Photographer award.
Sinclair and Dimmock received a standing ovation from the crowd for their work documenting the practice of child marriage and its effects on adolescent girls, their families and their communities. The project, “Too Young To Wed,” is a decade-long pursuit for Sinclair that has spawned a non-profit that she hopes will help young girls and communities do away with the practice of child marriage.
Samuel A. James, who in his young career has worked extensively in Nigeria documenting the impact of oil extraction on the culture—including photographing the illegal tapping of oil pipelines and makeshift refining operations by impoverished Nigerians—thanked the Nigerians who “gifted me these stories” during a short acceptance speech. James also dedicated the award to a friend who was killed in an explosion while attempting to refine black-market crude oil.
In accepting the Publication award for their book Holy Bible, for which they combined the King James Bible with images from the Archive of Modern Conflict, Broomberg and Chanarin called the book their “attempt to somehow illustrate this text,” and said they hoped it would be an invitation to others to make their own attempts. They also paid tribute to their publisher, Michael Mack for his production of the book, and to the Queen of England, who owns the copyright to the King James Bible.
In a slightly incongruous presentation, pop star Brooke Candy spoke about Steven Klein and introduced a high-octane video that reviewed much of Klein’s work. The fashion photographer briefly thanked the crowd after noting that, “photography pretty much saved my life.”
MediaStorm produced short documentary films about all of the recipients except Klein. Watch those films on the MediaStorm site here.
Photographer Danielle Villasana has won numerous accolades for “A Light Inside,” her project about transgender women. They include the 2015 Inge Morath Award (see “How I Got That Grant: The $5,000 Inge Morath Award“), a 2015 Pride Photo Award, and a place on Getty’s 2015-2016 Emerging Talent roster. Here is her advice about writing successful... More ›
Girma Berta, Emmanuelle Andrianjafy, Georges Senga, Fethi Sahraoui and Lebohang Kganye are the winners of this year’s CAP Prize— the Contemporary African Photography Prize, awarded by the CAP Association. The award is given annually to five photographers whose work “engages with the African continent or its diaspora” and “encourage a rethinking of the image of... More ›
Mark Peterson has won the first Photographer of the Year award, which honors a photographer in the PDN Photo Annual who has produced an outstanding body that reflects the year in photography. Peterson won the $10,000 prize for his book Political Theatre (published by Steidl). Honored in the Photo Books category of the Photo Annual,... More ›