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Brian Cassella January 21, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Brian Cassella joined the Tampa office of the St. Petersburg Times  as a staff photographer in 2006. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated in 2005 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After beginning his career at The Daily Tar Heel, he interned at The Seattle Times, the Hartford Courant  and the Cape Argus  in Cape Town, South Africa. Awards include recognition by the Best of Photojournalism, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Society of News Design, the Southern Short Course, the North Carolina Press Photographers Assocation, the Hearst Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists and College Photographer of the Year. In 2007, his work was featured in the Emerging Artists Showcase at the Festival of the Photograph.

About the Photograph:

This photograph was taken in June 2004 while I was an intern at The  Seattle Times.  I spent several days a homeless tent community in suburban Seattle and while I was there I met Tony and Laura Stull. They had recently hitchhiked from Florida to Seattle because they  were out of money and heard there were co-ed shelters in Seattle. Around the same time I met them, a nearby church heard that the  couple planned to marry and offered to host their wedding. The church community donated their building, clothes, time and services to throw  the event several weeks later.  Over a couple of months, I visited  with Tony and Laura while they went through their daily routines and  chores, leading up to their wedding day.

Kevin Benedict July 23, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Spring Fling Ball for the Midland Daily News

Kevin Benedict has been a staff photographer at the Midland Daily News in Midland, Michigan, for over two years. He received an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005 before doing an internship at The Virginian-Pilot in the fall of the same year. Kevin prefers to view photojournalism as a major component in writing the first draft of history. I have met people well advanced in age who have never had their stories told, and who never would were it not for my intervention. It is not as much a “red badge of courage” for me as it is a directive. If I do not pursue these stories, they may never be recorded, never be told, and never have the capacity to influence, inspire, or simply affirm an appreciation in others. Approaching my work as a photojournalist with this frame of mind gives it meaning and purpose beyond the simple pleasures I get from revealingly and creatively documenting my world.

About the Photograph:

Sonja McCartney, 49, left, and her husband of 27 years, Bob McCartney, 50, share a moment on the dance floor toward the end of Tendercare’s Spring Fling Ball at the facility recently. Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1985 and has lived at Tendercare since March 2007. In the preface to his book of memories, entitled “If The Ride Is Over Why Can’t I Get Off?”, Bob wrote the following: “I believe I was dealt a pretty good hand in life, and I tried to make the best of what I had.” He also wrote: “I felt like Bob Seger had me pegged in his song, “Beautiful Loser.”

Toby Morris July 21, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Iraq War Veteran, Los Angeles, California

Toby Morris is a freelance photographer based in Los Angeles.Toby attended the Art Insitute of Chicago and the University of Texas in Austin. He used to work for newspapers in New York, Chicago and New Hampshire “but then newspapers started to implode, and now he does what he can by making his way through a photo career and spending all of his money working on projects.” His photographs have been published in Newsweek, Le Monde, USA Today among others and his work has been awarded by NPPA and the PDN 2008 Photo Annual.

About the Photograph:

The photo of Wendy is part of a project Toby has completed on  veterans returning from Iraq with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. One of the challenges for Toby in doing this work he says was  “I never really thought of it as just a series of portraits, the thing about mental illness is, for the most part the people look completely normal. So as a photographer you are either stuck trying to make them look “crazy” -which they aren’t- or you have a group of portraits that look like normal guys hanging out, which no one is interested in looking at. I figured the only way to get any depth would be with combining the photos with interviews and I’m mildly pleased with the results. It was the first time I tried my hand at audio and it is a work in progress.”

Jim Korpi July 11, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Grave Digger. Cheshire, Ohio 2007

Jim Korpi started his path in photography during his university years when he worked part time as a writer/photographer at the Portsmouth Herald in Portsmouth, NH. Following his graduation from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in English/Journalism, Jim served as a Visual Journalism fellow at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. He later joined the Valley News in West Lebanon, New Hampshire as a photography intern. In addition to Jim’s work with community newspapers, he has done freelance assignments for the The New York Times, The Washington Post and Associated Press. In September of 2005, Jim received a Fulbright Scholarship to Jordan where he worked on a documentary photographic project and studied Arabic. His photographs were exhibited by the city of Amman, Jordan, in a large installation at the city’s cultural square. Presently, Jim is working on his master’s degree in the School of Visual Communications at Ohio University.

About the Photograph:

Dave Stanley has been digging graves at the Gravel Hill Cemetery in Cheshire, Ohio, for the past year. He was laid off from the Community Action Center and was asked to take the cemetery job. The town of Cheshire has been bought out by the Gavin Power Plant. Some older community members will stay until their end. Stanley says once the older folks die off in the town the cemetery will die with them. This photograph is part “Coal and Consequences”, Jim’s long term personal project about coal and it’s effects on the environment, people and communities.

Victor J. Blue June 23, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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One Year After Katrina, New Orleans. 2006

Victor J. Blue is a San Francisco based photojournalist. He has worked in Central America since 2001, concentrating on social conflict in Guatemala, as well as photographing stories in Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras. In the US he has documented news stories and social issues including Hurricane Katrina and it’s legacy in New Orleans, prison overcrowding in California, and the lives of illegal immigrants. His photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Le Monde, the San Francisco Chronicle and on the Discovery Channel. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at the Powerhouse Gallery in New York City and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. In 2008 he was awarded a first place in the NPPA Best of Photojournalism contest and an award of excellence in the SFBAPPA News Photography competition. He is currently a staff photographer at The Record in Stockton California.

About the Photograph:

“I was in New Orleans in August of 2006, a year after the storm, on an assignment about a health clinic. When I wasn’t shooting that story I got out and photographed in the neighborhoods, I wanted to capture something of the feeling in the city. The recovery was still painfully slow, much of the New Orleans was still empty. Life seemed to be coming back in fits. I ran into this second line procession making it’s way through a neighborhood, and I followed along. It was incredibly hot, the dancers and musicians were covered in sweat. As they danced and laughed and sang and played, they projected a kind of haunted, macabre joy. Their city had been destroyed, they had survived, now they had been forgotten, and now they were going to dance through the ruins. They marched, dipping and turning under parasols in starched white shirts and pressed slacks, while the band moaned and shouted, stopping every so often so the gathered could sing out the song’s refrain: “Won’t you stand, stand by me.”

Preston Gannaway June 16, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Carolynne St. Pierre watches her son EJ play. Concord, NH

Preston Gannaway is a staff photographer at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, CO. Until recently, she was a photojournalist for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire (2003-2008). Gannaway’s documentary story on the St. Pierre family, Remember Me, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 2008. She was named the NPPA Region 1 (New England) Photographer of the Year in 2005 and was runner-up in 2006 and 2007. Before working for the Monitor, Gannaway interned at the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Bangor Daily News. A native of North Carolina, she began her career at the Coalfield Progress in rural southwest Virginia after earning her Bachelor of Arts in fine art photography at Virginia Intermont College

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken as part of a larger documentary project titled Remember Me. Carolynne passed away in February of 2007. I’ve spent almost two years following the family, both before Carolynne’s death and afterwards.”

“When this image was made, I had stopped by their house to spend a little time with them as Carolynne’s husband Rich was leaving for a business trip. I knew that Carolynne, whose strength was quickly diminishing, was worried about taking care of EJ. After shooting for a while, I hesitated leaving the house because I was concerned to leave them alone. The next day, Carolynne fell while carrying EJ down the stairs. It was a turning point for the family when they realized that Carolynne couldn’t care for the kids on her own. I think this photo illustrates that turning point. Watching Carolynne and EJ that day, I started to understand the strain that sickness was putting on their relationship.”

Lisa Krantz June 4, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The Edwards Family. San Antonio, Texas 2007

Lisa Krantz is a staff photographer at the San Antonio Express-News where she has worked since March 2004. She has covered diverse stories such as the selection of Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, HIV issues in Africa, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She was the 2005 NPPA Region 8 Photographer of the Year and runner-up for 2004 and 2006. Her work has been recognized by POYi, Best of Photojournalism, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and the Southern Short Course. Krantz received her Masters degree in Photography from Syracuse University and a Psychology degree from Florida State University. Lisa is currently documenting the transition of a small Texas Hill town as it struggles with maintaining its country identity in the midst of modern development and urban sprawl.

About the Photograph:

“I met the Edwards family during a daily newspaper assignment to find and photograph a family with school age children living at the Salvation Army, dealing with the pressures of starting the school year with no home. The Edwards family had been at the shelter for several days and had five children starting school the next day. I spent the evening with them as they carefully laid out their first day of school clothes, all donated, and returned at 6 am to go with them to their new schools. I photographed the family over the next few days knowing the story would run soon. I continued to photograph the family after the story ran as they moved into an apartment in hopes of a future story. The family was so anxious to leave the shelter, they moved into the apartment with no furniture. The first few nights, the entire family slept together in a tiny room on the only carpeted floor. In this picture, Breanna Edwards, 14, cuddles with her mother, Laura Edwards, while Austin Edwards, 16, lies nearby on their second night in the apartment. I have continued to photograph the family and a follow-up story will run soon as the school year comes to a close this week. “

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