[On My Mind] Renee C. Byer Won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography

Compliments of Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection:

2007 Pulitzer Prizes-FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY, Works Photographer Renee C. Byer won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for 2007 for a series of 20 photographs that she ran in the Sacramento Bee chronicling Cyndie and Derek Madsen. Cyndie is a single mother of five and the photographs tell the story of her loss of her 10 year old son Derek to cancer.

It’s a troubling, moving and emotional series of photographs that show in the most poignent way how powerful photography can be.

These photographs broke my heart.

…and they should.

Letting a journalist follow you around through during such a difficult time is an incredibly hard decision to make. I’m proud of Cyndie and Derek for allowing Renee into their lives. I’m sure that chronicling Derek’s life and death (because you do realize these pictures are about both, and not just death, right?) was not only already helpful to the family, but will be helpful in the future as the family grieves, remembers, and laughs and cries.

As she tooks those pictures, Renee must have been constantly struggling with her own emotions. Folks can say that as a journalist you have to try and stay neutral. But it’s the emotional attachment to things we take pictures of that help them be something *more* than just images.

Current Music: Heather Dale – Adrift

Current Mood: (grateful) grateful

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