A few years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Chris Hondros speak at the Eddie Adams Workshop about his life as a photojournalist and his work in Iraq. Chris had attended the Workshop in 1993 as a young kid out of school with the Richard Marx hair and the knit sweater. Like so many other alumni of the Workshop, Chris had come back to share his experiences and influence the next wave of 100 young photojournalists/photographers who walk through the worn floor boards of Eddie’s barn.
Through the years, the Workshop has had an alumni list that reads like a who’s who of photojournalism: Ami Vitale, Kristen Ashburn, Vince Laforet, Melissa Lyttle, Rick Loomis, Teru Kuwayama, Lauren Greenfield, Jack Gruber, and the list goes on and on and on. The Workshop isn’t some magical anointment that turns mediocre photographers into industry heavyweights. It isn’t a seal of approval from the photojournalism gods. Sure, it’s selective, but it simply is a network of people committed to visual storytelling — who believe that it matters to democratic society, free press, and the truth. And even with all the cynicism in the world, these people still exist.
Even in a society over-inundated with flashy visuals, news photos still matter. It was true when Eddie photographed his Pulitzer Prize winning photo during the Vietnam War, it was true when Chris photographed a young girl with blood spatter on her tiny hands, and it was true a week ago when White House photographer Pete Souza photographed the Situation Room during the bin Laden mission (Pete has supported the workshop each year by offering a internship at the White House to an Eddie Adams Workshop participant).
Photo by Eddie Adams
Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
If you are a student or professional with 3 years or less of experience, I personally encourage you to apply to the Workshop. For both Grover and I, the four day tuition-free workshop was a life-affirming moment. We made friendships that have endured time, and although neither of us still shoot, the experience influenced our decision to create a company that, in part, helps to support a community of freelance photojournalists around the world who are committed to capturing slices of life with a camera.
Apply now. The deadline is May 27, 2011.