A playful 9-year-old, walking home to feed his parakeets, was shot and blinded by a bullet meant for someone else. April Saul’s photographic narrative documents the struggles of Jorge Cartagena and his family who were traumatized by gun violence in the streets of Camden, N.J. As a result of this coverage, a local charity helped Jorge move to a new house in a safer neighborhood, readers donated money and the Camden Police Chief became the boy’s friend and mentor. Judges praised April Saul’s ability to capture youthful innocence, tender childhood moments and the real uphill battle facing a boy forced to grow up too soon. Judges wrote, “The words alone would be powerful. So would the photos. Together, they allow the reader to live the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. Anybody who reads this article, and looks at the photos, will find it impossible to take the easy road we all choose -- putting the people hurt by violence aside as ‘statistics.’”
This powerful portrait of the tragic effects of gang violence demonstrates a strong commitment to the people in this story on the part of the photographer and the publication. It takes enormous time and effort to gain this degree of understanding and trust of the people covered. This body of work meets the truest and highest purposes of the profession -- to give a strong and clear voice to those who are suffering. Davidson’s photos are intimate and shocking; they take us far beyond the daily crime stories into a world where being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be fatal.
Lisa Krantz’s documentation of an inner-city high school in “I Am Sam” is terrific -- peak moment after moment, covering the gamut of emotions, photographed skillfully in wonderful light. The work allows viewers to feel as if they’d been admitted into the unifying circle of the school community, as these young people experienced birth and death, success and failure, joy and sorrow, all the travails of life.
A very simple story, clearly told in a tight edit of sensitive photographs. The photographer creates a warm, intimate document of two people in a very difficult situation: homelessness. That closeness allows readers to empathize and to consider what they themselves might do in those circumstances. When readers feel this, they tend to speak up, prompting the community to come together and help.
These images captured the courage and love behind the gut-wrenching decision a family had to make about their unborn son. Each photo reads like a story, and the level of intimacy within them can come only if a photographer has established a strong sense of trust with the subjects. The images are intimate without being invasive.
When vying tribes couldn’t agree over boundaries in Arizona, the U.S. government banned all development in the area – a freeze that stood for 40 years and resulted in legions of impoverished Navajo families. Davidson’s beautiful images capture children growing up amid deplorable conditions – in ramshackle dwellings, often without power or safe water – with a sense of suffering, but also resilience and pride. The images represent a dignified approach at showcasing the countless misfortunes resulting from U.S. policy.
This series illustrates the most important story of our time – a tanking U.S. economy – and its implications across our country. Tightly composed, startling imagery immerses the reader in individual moments and illuminates experiences and outcomes.
Classic, beautiful photography that covers one of today’s greatest issues – health care – but also gives it a face. These photographs capture the struggle to stay healthy endured by so many, as Williamson photographs the hundreds of uninsured and underinsured Americans who flocked to an annual 3-day free field hospital in Wise County, Va. He is both documentarian and witness: His wrenching pictures cover the scope of activity, yet portray the hope and expectation in the eyes of the patients. Ultimately, the photographs capture the intensely personal moments that offer the insight needed to better understand this crisis.
This series about palliative care is innovative; it may be a photojournalistic first. It is not just a story about death; it is about the way people die and how some special people care for the terminally ill. The photojournalist covered all of her bases in this solid and carefully documented work. Hebert did an incredible job gaining access to this story, and then to get so close - perhaps closer to the subject than any of us want to be – speaks to the trust she was able to earn.
Lyttle’s images are well-crafted in a true documentary genre, as the life of a nearly abandoned child unfolds after years of abuse. Her keen work documents how the new life of a child, Dani, unfolds as she is welcomed in by an adoptive family. The images are strong, intimate and emotional. It is a remarkable photographic essay of a lost child and her newfound family.
The approach of personalizing statistics through documentary photojournalism is not an original one, but rarely is it done more effectively than in “The Bottom Line.” The images are emotional and skillfully made, and required complex negotiation with state authorities to grant exceptional access to juvenile services, detention and mental health facilities. Reeder’s images are clean, iconic compositions that work well against each other to build a sense of people too often out of sight and out of mind.
Stephenson's three-year project on Dawn Smith's struggle to break a crushing cycle of drug abuse and destructive relationships is a devastating witness to a life caught in hopelessness. Through his use of composition and keen sense of body language and moments, Stephenson’s images fully communicate Smith’s story.
This compelling project challenges the viewer to take a fresh look at poverty today. Takahashi’s portraits of dignity and challenge reveal his commitment to each subject.
Renée C. Byer presents a window into the emotional, physical and financial toll that cancer takes on young victims and their loved ones. The sheer depth, quality and longevity of this sustained effort sets it apart, as Byer followed one mother throughout the final year of her son’s life and captured moments of exaltation, fear and finally despair. Her piece bears witness to the unfolding drama of a child’s life.
In a staccato, portrait-driven approach, April Saul gives a face and a story to every child killed by guns in the Philadelphia area in 2006; as reader and legislative response to the project attests, these images cannot be ignored.
Photographs of homeless families living on the beach detail the plight of those pushed from their homes by rising housing costs.
Focht’s photographs on infant mortality and premature babies dissected this important issue in a visually intimate way. By spending a great deal of time with her subjects, she was able to create intimate and beautiful portraits of pain and hope. Her images helped bring attention to how young, African-American mothers were being affected by a trend that few people in or out of government fully understood. This is the highest form of photojournalism: images that prick the conscience and encourage action.
Documenting the intensely personal is always difficult for photojournalists but the images that Cross produced gave viewers a glimpse of what it is like for parents to slowly lose a child.
Siegel photographed his subjects with great dignity and provided readers with the visual capacity to understand this complex tale of a homeless couple trying to regain custody of their child.
The pictures create a serious, incisive, illuminating look at how caring for their babies can have affect incarcerated mothers. Read the story>
These rich, well crafted photographs create compelling portraits of people trying to recover from abuse.
These photographs humanize an Iraqi family victimized by war. They carry you through pain, courage, fear, compassion, redemption and love -- all without uttering a word. That's what art is all about. At a time when journalists are under attack, in part because of our perceived cool detachment, we need more stories that dare to grab the reader by the collar and demand attention. That's what these pictures do.
A work of depth and dedication, Rainey's photographs put a human face on students in a school for troubled kids. In this age of bottom-line journalism, Rainey took the time to depict these students' poignant stories.
The photographer could have taken us on a journey through hospitals and medical labs; instead we were treated to a wonderful story about a kid with lots of fortitude and heart.
During the three months he spent retracing the path of a Honduran boy, Bartletti accumulated a striking compilation of photographs depicting the perils of an estimated 48,000 children who enter the United States from Central America and Mexico each year. The series offers a close look at what children must face to get a piece of the American dream. Barletti’s photographs are excellent – some nice moments, beautiful light.
Omori’s photographs illustrate the problems of the city’s impoverished children through compelling narrative imagery.
White gained the trust of four homeless youths to capture powerful moments in their lives.
Song took a nonvisual issue (lead poisoning) and brought it to life; the images were so powerful that we could feel the paint chipping. The compelling photographs showed enormous creativity with the use of high and low camera angles. As her young subjects played and slept — oblivious to the presence of the camera — Song brought to light a crucial issue for children of all socio-economic backgrounds.
In-depth reporting shows how dysfunction in the state’s juvenile justice detention system sets back troubled kids; it also helps readers see how they can help.
Great, solid documentary piece that captured the lives of teens who suddenly find themselves out of foster care after turning 18. This is a story that is seldom reported with such depth. The photographs were powerful and eye opening.
This visual smorgasbord puts a true face on homeless and formerly homeless individuals, leaving no part of the story unphotographed. The project was beautifully shot, well designed and presented.