February 22nd, 2013

Paolo Pellegrin and His Subject At Odds Over Photograph


© Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

In response to allegations that he staged a photograph and plagiarized captions for his prize-winning story about the underside of Rochester, New York, Paolo Pellegrin has defended the work in a statement distributed by Magnum, his agency. The full text of the statement is below.

On the BagNews Notes blog, Pellegrin was accused of staging the photo shown above and plagiarizing the captions for the story, which recently won prizes in both the World Press Photo and POYi competitions. In the POYi competition, Pellegrin was named Freelance Photographer of the Year for a portfolio of images that included the Rochester story, called “The Crescent. Rochester USA 2012.” The Crescent is a section of Rochester where crime rates are high.

The subject of the photograph in question, Shane Keller, told PDN that he raised questions about the photograph in an e-mail to Loret Steinberg, a professor Keller had while studying photography at RIT. Steinberg approached Michael Shaw, editor of the BagNews Notes blog, who posted an article that quoted extensively from Keller’s original e-mail.

Keller told PDN today that it is not clear that the photo was staged. Pellegrin had asked him to pose for portraits with firearms, and Keller agreed to do that. Keller went on to say that he’s not sure he was in the act of posing for the portraits when Pellegrin took the photograph above.

“It looks like he happened to be there, in the right place, at the right moment. It looks like spot news photograph,” says Keller, who now lives in Dover, Pennsylvania. “It’s in a gray area, where if we don’t view it as a portrait photograph, then it’s on the gray line: Would it be considered a staged photograph?”

Brett Carlsen, a friend and former RIT classmate, was on the scene as Pellegrin’s assistant. He told PDN that Pellegrin had asked Carlsen to help him find gun owners to photograph in Rochester. “He was trying to find the underbelly of Rochester. He wanted to look at gun culture, and [photograph] gun owners,” Carlsen says.

Carlsen knew that Keller had guns, and called him up to ask on Pellegrin’s behalf if they could come over to take pictures. After shooting some portraits against a wall in Keller’s apartment, Pellegrin asked if he could photograph them at a shooting range where Keller was a member.

Keller says he agreed, and that Pellegrin asked if he could take more portraits once they entered the garage attached to Keller’s residence. According to Carlsen, when they entered the garage, “The light caught [Keller], Paolo told me to get out of the way, and he started taking pictures.”

Keller believes the photograph misrepresents him, and he would like to see it removed from the series.

“What bothered me more [then the question of whether it was staged] was my being associated with the Rochester Crescent. I lived in a nice and safe neighborhood. That photograph goes with a story talking about the gang and drug violence. It’s associating me with these problems in Rochester, when in reality I had nothing to do with that situation. It paints me in a bad light. I don’t look at a photograph of person with a firearm and assume they’re a bad person, but in a collection of other photographs about violence and drug issues, it paints me in a bad light.”

But Carlsen sees it differently. He acknowledged that Keller doesn’t live in a violent, crime-ridden area, but he lives a few minutes’ drive away, Carlsen says. Pellegrin’s images, he continues, “Shows that people keep guns to keep violence out of their homes. From an ethics standpoint, I think it fits. I don’t see a problem. Those  guns are in [Keller’s] house to keep other people in the story out of his house.”

Pellegrin did not respond directly to a request for an interview, but the statement he provided through Magnum is reproduced below:

I’m sorry that Michael Shaw, Loret Steinberg and Shane Keller don’t like
my pictures from Rochester.  It’s not uncommon for people living in a
community to disagree with an outsider’s take. We all know that.  They
find my work “heavy handed.”  I found many of the things I witnessed in
Rochester shocking.  Part of a documentary photographer’s job is
sometimes revealing things that local elites would rather not have
discussed quite so openly.  In my experience, it was particularly true
in Rochester that certain portions of the population were disinclined to
have an open conversation about race, poverty and crime.

Shane doesn’t like the caption of the portrait I made of him.  (He does
acknowledge, however, that this picture was a portrait, and I’ve never
indicated otherwise.)  Here is the caption for that picture:
“Rochester, NY, USA.  A former US Marine corps sniper with his weapon.”
Shane agrees that he is a former Marine and that he is standing with his
weapon in Rochester.  My firm recollection is that Shane described
himself that day as a sniper.  He may have misspoken; I may have
misunderstood; or he may have used the word “sniper” in a manner that
was not meant to imply formal status as a Marine Corps Sniper (he spoke
for a long time about sniping).  In any event, if Shane was not actually
a Sniper in the Marine Corps the caption should be changed to read
“Rochester, NY, USA.  A former US Marine Corps member with his weapon.”

Shane also points out that I took his portrait.  This is true, and his
account of how we were introduced by Brett, who was assisting me, is
also substantially accurate.  I had been spending the majority of my
time riding along with the Rochester police in the Crescent and
otherwise interacting with the community there.  I approached the work
through a combination of reportage, portraiture, and even landscapes.  I
also realized that to tell more fully the story of gun violence in
Rochester, as exemplified by what I was seeing in the Crescent, I wanted
to make some portraits of gun aficionados.  Like any journalist, I
worked with my assistant to locate such people, and Shane was one of the
people we located.  I think his portrait, and even his reaction to it,
add an interesting dimension to the story.  Shane thinks he and his guns
have nothing to do with the violence in the Crescent; I disagree.  (For
what it’s worth, there is no firm agreement in Rochester as to what
constitutes the “Crescent;” it sometimes seems to be a conceptual
designation as much as  a geographical one.  I actually didn’t know
where precisely Brett had driven me to meet Shane, which is one of the
reasons I captioned the picture simply, “Rochester.”)

I have no idea why Shaw et al. appear to think there is something wrong
with making a portrait, or that making a portrait is not “authentic”.
As photojournalists, we make portraits all the time.  Are my portraits
from Gaza any less “authentic” because they’re portraits?  Of course
not.  It’s ridiculous.

There is one element of the Bag News Notes story that is worthy of
discussion in the face of a changing photojournalistic landscape,
however:  The relationship between my captions, such as, “Rochester, NY,
USA.  A former US Marine corps sniper with his weapon,” and the
background text about the story that accompanies them.  Traditionally,
when photographers like me produced work freelance, our agencies – in my
case, Magnum – would distribute the photographs to publications with a
background or “distro” text and a series of captions.  The captions were
meant for publication; the distro text was for editors, who, if they
took the work, would assign a writer to produce a text that would
accompany the captioned pictures.

In Rochester, I produced the work directly as part of a collaborative,
freelance project with a number of my colleagues, and the work ended up
winning awards without ever having been mediated by the English-language
press.  (Some of the work did appear in Zeit in Germany, although
Shane’s picture did not.)  Thus, my photo captions are accompanied on
the World Press Photo and POYi sites by the kind of background text that
ordinarily would not be published. (Zeit, for instance, didn’t publish
it.)  This distinction between captions and background information is,
in my mind, quite important.

My picture captions are my authored work, based on my individual work in
the field, and I stand fully behind them.  (If a small correction
sometimes needs to be made — like clarifying that Shane was a Marine
but not a sniper in the Marine Corps — so be it.)

The background text, which traditionally would be for internal uses, and
not for the public, is something I gathered from various sources in
Rochester and from the internet, including the New York Times.  Factual
background sentences like, “The Crescent is home to 27 percent of the
city’s residents and 80 percent of the city’s homicides” are frequently
repeated in the neighborhoods I was working in; I believe I first
encountered the statement in connection with the House of Mercy and the
amazing Sister Grace, with whom I spent a considerable amount of time.
(The sentence is on House of Mercy’s facebook page, for instance.)  I
confirmed my background information in various interviews with the
Rochester police, the House of Mercy, and many others – but that doesn’t
change the fact that it was intended as background information, i.e.,
the starting point for someone else’s authored work.  I’m a
photographer, and I produced a body of photographic work.

Looking at the presentation on the World Press Photo and POYi sites, I
do regret the formulation, “where these pictures were taken” in the
background text in relation to Shane’s picture.  Shane’s picture is not
captioned the Crescent, and I wouldn’t have captioned it the Crescent,
because I wasn’t sure it was taken there (as stated above:  I wasn’t
sure exactly where in Rochester Brett had driven me to meet Shane).  I
captioned the picture “Rochester, NY, USA.”  But the juxtaposition with
the background text is confusing and should be fixed.  The story is
about the Crescent, and I continue to believe that Shane’s picture tells
an important part of the story about Rochester, guns, and gun violence
(whether Shane agrees or not), but I don’t want there to be any
confusion.  For purposes of clarity, I don’t have any problem with the
picture itself, how it was made, or its inclusion in my story.

One final thought:  Neither Shaw, Steinberg nor Keller ever attempted to
contact me.  They do not quote Brett, anyone in the Crescent, the police
officers I spent so much time with, etc.  It seems somewhat strange to
me that while mounting a purported journalistic high horse they
themselves did not follow the basic tenets of fair and professional

February 20th, 2013

David Alan Harvey Wins POYi’s Best Photo Book Prize

From (Based on a True Story) ©David Alan Harvey

From (based on a true story) ©David Alan Harvey

Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey has won Best Photography Book honors in the 2013 POYi competition.

Harvey won for “(based on a true story),” an experimental book comprising a collection of images–part true, and part fictional–of a journey through Rio that “explode with color, heat, humidity, sex, more sex, danger, fear, chaos, more chaos,” according to the Burn magazine Web site.

Finalists included six other books–“Brooklyn Buzz,” by Alessandro Cosmelli & Gaia Light; “England Uncensored,” by Peter Dench; “The Invisible City,” by Irene Kung, Ludovico Pratesi, and Francine Prose; “The Wrong Side: Living on the Mexican Border,” by Jerome Sessini; “In the Car with R,” by Rafal Milach & Huldar Breidfjord; and “Violentology: A Manual of the Columbian Conflict,” by Stephen Ferry.

The jurors also gave special recognition to Marc Asnin for his book, “Uncle Charlie,” and to “Bosnia: 1992-1995,” edited by Jon Jones.

POYi jurors have been selecting winners in Editing Division categories over the last several days. Winners so far include the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which took first place in the News & Issue Story Editing category for “What Obama Didn’t See.” The story is the print version of a multimedia project titled “As I Am” by Alan Spearman, which was featured in the January 2013 issue of PDN.)

National Geographic magazine won first place in the News & Issue Story Editing–Magazine category for “Nile Journey,” a story about Egypt photographed by Alex Majoli that ran in the magazine’s May 2012 issue under the title “Egypt in the Moment.”

The Washington Post won Feature Story Editing–Newspaper for “A Siberian Pictorial,” featuring images by Sebastião Salgado.

Notable Books of 2012: Part 1 (includes a review of (Based on a True Story) by David Alan Harvey)
Picture Story: A Guided Tour of Poverty in Memphis (about Alan Spearman’s “As I Am” project)
Paolo Pellegrin Named POYi Freelance Photographer of the Year
Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter Wins POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

February 19th, 2013

Paolo Pellegrin named POYi Freelance Photographer of the Year

©Paolo Pellegrin

©Paolo Pellegrin

Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin has been named Freelance Photographer of the Year at the Picture of the Year International competition. Runners up were Tomas Munita, the second place winner, and third place winner Paolo Marchetti.

Pellegrin’s portfolio of 50 images included selections from projects that mostly explore the wrenching consequences of economic hardship and political and military tensions. The projects include a story about the underside of Miami, for which Pellegrin rode along on police patrols; a crime-ridden section of Rochester, New York (ditto);  recent political changes in Cuba, and two separate stories about Gaza–including one about the effects of the Israeli blockade, the other about the lingering consequences of Israel’s attacks on the territory in 2008 and 2009..

The portfolio is a study in the type of photography for which Pellegrin is well-known: unflinching reportage combined with layered, poetic images that blur the lines between documentary and art.

In other POYi Freelance Division categories judged last week, Javier Monzano won first place in News Picture Story–Freelance/Agency for his coverage of the siege of Aleppo, Syria.

Paolo Marchetti won first place for Issue Reporting Picture Story for his project about the deplorable conditions in juvenile prisons in Latin America.

Photographer David Chancellor won the World Understanding Award for his project called Hunters, about big game safaris in Africa. It explores “the complex relationship that exists between man and animal, the hunter and the hunted, as both struggle to adapt to our changing environments.”

Photographer Arnau Bach won the Community Awareness Award for his project called Paris Suburbs, exploring conditions behind the social unrest in the city’s poorest and most segregated suburbs.

Brett Stirton of Getty Images won the Environmental Awareness award for his story about the illegal ivory trade, including its causes and consequences.

POYi jurors will select Editing Division winners this week, and conclude with Multimedia Division winners next week.

Ezra Shaw Named POYI Sports Photographer of the Year
Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter Wins POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year
Associated Press Wins Top Portrait Prizes at POYi
POYi Announces Campaign, Spot News, and Feature Category Winners

February 15th, 2013

Ezra Shaw Named POYi Sports Photographer of the Year

Gabrielle Douglas on the beam at the 2012 Olympics in London. ©Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Gabrielle Douglas on the beam at the 2012 Olympics in London. ©Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw of Getty Images has been named Sports Photographer of the Year in the 70th annual Pictures of the Year International competition. His winning portfolio includes dramatic action and feature photos from a a wide range of sports: cycling, snow boarding, America’s Cup sailing, baseball, football, and the 2012 summer Olympics.

Quinn Rooney of Getty Images and freelancer Donald Miralle were first and second runners up, respectively, for Sports Photographer of the Year.

POYi jurors awarded first prize for Sports Editing to The New York Times, for a story titled “Their Golden Years,” a portrait-driven story about U.S. athletes who competed in the 1948 Olympics in London.

In other POYi developments, Swedish photographer Casper Hedberg won top prize in the Sports Picture Story category for a story about Afghanistan’s national sport, called buzkashi. The description accompanying Hedberg’s pictures says: “Every Friday, thousands of spectators goes to the fields north of Kabul to witness this grand spectacle in which hundreds of men on horseback [fight] for a dead calf or a carcass of a lamb…It’s crowded, sweaty and speedy.”

Judging for the POYi Reportage division began yesterday. Iwan Baan’s aerial photo of the blackout in lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy took first prize in the Science & Natural History category.

Other Reportage division categories will be judged through Sunday, culminating with the selection of Freelance Photographer of the Year. Judging for the Editing Division prizes begins Monday, February 18. The final round of judging–which is for the Multimedia Division prizes–begins February 22.

Here’s a re-cap of top winners for each category so far:

Newspaper Photographer of the Year: Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter, Sweden.
Spot News: Manu Brabo, AP
General News: Bernat Armangue, AP
Feature: Ng Han Guan, AP
Newspaper Picture Story: Kevin Sutherland, The Sunday Times, Johannesburg (unconfirmed)
Issue Reporting Picture Story: Liz O. Baylen, The Los Angeles Times
Feature Picture Story: Dave Weatherwax, The Herald, Jasper, Indiana
Campaign 2012: Carolyn Kaster, AP
Presidential Campaign 2012: Brian Snyder, Reuters
Campaign Picture Story: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
Portrait: Daniel Ochoa de Olza, AP
Portrait Series: Oded Balilty, AP
Sports Action: Jessica Hill, AP
Recreational Sports: Jessica Rinaldi, freelance
Sports Feature: Mike Roemer, AP
Olympic Action: Alberto Pizzolo, AFP
Olympic Feature: Quinn Rooney, Getty Images


Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter Wins POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year

Associated Press Wins Top Portrait Prizes at POYi

POYi Announces Campaign, Spot News, and Feature Category Winners

February 11th, 2013

Wire Services Dominate Sports Categories (so far) in POYi Judging

©Associated Pres/Jessica HIll

©Associated Press/Jessica Hill

Wire service photographers are dominating the sports division prizes of POYi, as the judging moves into its second week. POYi judges selected News Division winners last week, including the top prize of Newspaper Photographer of the Year, won by Paul Hansen of Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Jessica Hill of AP won first prize in the sports action category for a photo of a foul contact between two WNBA players that shows one of the players driving the basketball into the face of the other. The image was shot last June.

Jessica Rinaldi, a Boston-based freelancer, won the top prize in the Recreational Sports category for an image of competitors helping a a woman over an wall in Vermont’s “Tough Mudder” obstacle race last July.

The top Sports Feature prize went to Mike Roemer of Associated Press for his image of Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers celebrating a touchdown in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars last October.

Alberto Pizzoli of AFP won first prize in the Olympic Action category for his gracefully symmetrical image of two fencers attacking each other at the women’s epee semifinal bout at the London 2012 Olympics.

Quinn Rooney of Getty Images won top prize in the Olympic Feature category for a photo of British cyclist Dani King celebrating a gold medal and world record in the women’s team pursuit track cycling event, also at the 2012 Olympics in London.

News Division category winners announced at the end of last week included:

General News: Bernat Armangue of the Associated Press, for his photograph of a Palestinian man kissing the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on November 18, 2012.

News Picture Story (Newspaper): The winning entry, a series of images showing the police massacre of striking miners last summer at South Africa’s Lonmin Marikana platinum mine, appears to have been shot by Kevin Sutherland of the Johannesburg Sunday Times. PDN has not been able to confirm the photographer’s identity, however. (POYi posts the winning entries, but will not announce the names of the winners until all the judging is completed at the end of February.)

Issue Reporting Picture Story: Liz O. Baylen of the Los Angeles Times won first price for “Life Changing Dose,” about the overuse and abuse of prescription painkillers, and its consequences for people’s lives.

Feature Picture Story: Dave Weatherwax of the Jasper Herald won first prize for a story about an Indiana family’s hog butchering tradition.

Winning images are posted on the POYi web site.

Associated Press Wins Top Portrait Prizes at POYi

POYi Announces Campaign, Spot News, and Feature Category Winners

February 8th, 2013

Associated Press Wins Top Portrait Prizes at POYi

POYi Portrait winner ©Associate Press/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

POYi Portrait winner ©Associate Press/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Associated Press has picked up two first prize awards in the Portrait and Portrait Series categories of the 70th annual POYi competition. The wire service now has 5 first prize awards after three days of POYI judging.

AP photographer Daniel Ochoa de Olza won top prize in the Portrait category for a very pirate-like image of Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla, made just before the matador’s ritual entrance to the bullring in Brihuega, Spain last April. Second prize went to freelance photographer Louie Palu. PDN has not yet been able to identify the third place winner. (POYi posts winning images, but does not announce the photographers’ names until all judging is completed at the end of February.)

AP photographer Oded Balilty won first prize in the Portrait Series category for his photographs of Palestinian stone throwers–men who use slingshots against Israeli soldiers. Balilty, who is based in Tel Aviv, was able to get the images because of his extensive knowledge of the region, and network of local contacts.

Second and third prize in the Portrait Series category went to photographer Magnus Wennman, a staff photographer at the Aftonbladet newspaper in Sweden, and Polish freelance photographer Maciek Nabrdalik, respectively.

Earlier this week, AP won top prizes in the Spot News, Campaign 2012, and Feature image categories.

All contest categories, with links to winning entries so far, are on the POYi Web site.

POYi Announces Campaign, Spot News, and Feature Category Winners

February 7th, 2013

POYi Announces Campaign, Spot News, and Feature Category Winners

©Associated Press/Ng Han Guan

©Associated Press/Ng Han Guan

Manu Brabo of Associated Press (AP) won first prize in the Spot News category of the Pictures of the Year International competition, as POYi’s judging marathon got under way this week. Brian Snyder of Reuters, Carolyn Kaster of AP, and Chip Somodevilla of Getty Images, all won top prizes in campaign photography categories. Ng Han Guan (AP) won the top prize for Feature image.

Those categories are all part of the POYi News Division. The remaining News Division categories,  including Newspaper Photographer of the Year, will be judged this week. Categories for the Sports and Reportage divisions will be judged next week, while Editing Division and Multimedia division categories will be judged between February 18 and February 26.

Pictures from the war in Syria dominated the Spot News category.  Brabo won the top prize for his photograph of a grieving man cradling the body of his son, who was killed in an attack by the Syrian army in Aleppo on October 3. Second and third prize winners were Goran Tomasevic of Reuters and and Narciso Contreras, who is represented by Polaris. Both won for images from Syria.

Somodevilla won the top prize in the Campaign Picture Story category for a portfolio titled “The Last Campaign,” featuring images that captured the spirit and energy of President Barack Obama’s last weeks on the campaign trail before the November 2012 election. Runners up were Adam Dean of Panos Pictures and Brian Snyder of Reuters. (POYi posts the winning images, but does not announce names of winners until all judging is completed.)

Snyder won first prize in the Presidential Campaign 2012 category for a single image of Mitt Romney and his aids reflected in a window at a campaign event in North Canton, Ohio. The image shows Romney looking isolated and pensive, with his campaign staffers swirling about him. Runners up in the category were Callie Shell and Damon Winter.

Carolyn Kaster won first prize in the Campaign 2012 category, for an image of a female biker flirting at an Ohio diner with Vice President Joe Biden. The biker, who sidled up to Biden, appears to be sitting in Biden’s lap (though she actually wasn’t). As she and Biden whisper to each other, her two companions sit nearby, looking askance at each other. Second place prize went to Andrew Harnik of the Washington Times. Third place went to Allison Joyce of Getty Images.

Ng Han Guan won the Feature image prize for a photograph of glum-looking North Korean commuters, photographed through the window of a city bus in the capital, Pyongyang. (AP has had unprecedented access to North Korea since it set up a bureau there more than a year ago.) Andrew Biraj of Reuters won second place, while Aaron Huey took third place.

Portrait and Portrait Series categories will be judged today.

February 28th, 2012

Damon Winter of New York Times Wins 2011 POYi Multimedia Portfolio of the Year

Damon Winter of The New York Times has won the POYi Multimedia Portfolio of the Year award in the final session of judging at the POYi competition. See the full report is at poyi.org.

Winter was honored for a portfolio of work that included video and stills for “Finding Purpose After Living With Delusion,”, about a man living with schizophrenia, “Sky Cowboys,” about the iron workers rebuilding 1 World Trade Center, and for his contributions to the interactive feature “A Year at War, Coming Home,” about a US batallion’s deployment and return.

Other winners in the multimedia division of the competition include Time magazine, which won the Documentary Project of the Year award for “Beyond 9/11,” a project by photographer Marco Grob for the tenth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Time magazine also won the News Multimedia Story award for a project about the uprising in Egypt shot by contract photographer Dominic Nahr.

Other winners included Alfonso Moral and Roser Corella, who won the Long-Form Multimedia Documentary Award for this project called “Machine Man,” about manual laborers in Bangladesh:

The Issue Reporting Multimedia Story award went to freelancers Elles Van Gelder and Ilvy Njiokiktjien for this project called “Afrikaner Blood,” about extremists clinging to South Africa’s apartheid past:

Reporter Corinne Reilly and photographer Ross Taylor of the Virginia Pilot won the Feature Multimedia Story award for this story called “Home | Front” about a Virginia family separated by the war in Afghanistan:

A complete list of categories, with links to all the winning entries, is online at poyi.org.

Related stories:
Donald Miralle Wins POYi’s Sports Photographer of the Year Award

Yuri Kozyrev Wins POYi’s Freelance Photographer of the Year Award

Craig Walker Wins POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award

February 17th, 2012

Van Houtryve Wins at POYi, with Help from Crowd Funding

© Tomas van Houtryve/VII

Tomas van Houtryve, whose “Behind the Curtains” photo essay has won this year’s World Understanding Award at POYi, completed the eight-year project with the help of money he raised through the crowd-funding site Emphas.is. We don’t know if this is the first crowd-funded project to win a major award, but we’re pretty sure it won’t be the last, given the scarcity of   support for documentary photography at magazines, and the growing popularity of crowd-funding to underwrite long-term photography projects.

Van Houtryve is currently using Emphas.is again in hopes of raising enough money to turn his recent work on North Korea into a book and exhibition.

When we asked him why he turned to crowd-funding for “Behind the Curtains,” he explained that he began “Behind the Curtains” in 2004, covering Nepal’s Maoist revolution. “It was certainly a challenge to keep the project going at full force when the 2008 U.S. economic crisis hit, followed by the global media and advertising crisis in the following years,” he says. In 2010, he won POYi Photographer of the Year – Freelance award. Still, he says, “I had to keep looking for new revenue streams, switching from mainly magazines to grants and eventually to crowd-funding.

“It started to feel pretty acrobatic to have to constantly think about shifting and reinventing business models while keeping my focus on the project.”

In March 2011, he began looking for funding on his own site and on Emphas.is.  “My proposal was to finish my 21st century communism project by taking a final trip to Laos.


February 13th, 2012

Craig Walker Wins Newspaper Photographer of the Year

© Craig Walker/Denver Post

Craig Walker of the Denver Post has won the Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the 2011 Pictures of the Year International competition. Judges cited his portfolio for a balance of esthetics and journalistic content, and noted that it included “a stunning project” on war veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. (Walker won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for a project about a teenager who joins the Army to fight in Iraq.)

Runners up for POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year were Morten Germund and Jacob Ehrbahn of Politiken, a daily newspaper in Copenhagen, Denmark that has a reputation for the strength of its photojournalism.

Read the full story here.