2018 WHNPA Still Photography Award Winners Announced; McClain and Watson Named Top Winners

Nation's Leading Photojournalists Compete for Top Industry Awards

The White House News Photographers Association® announced that photographer Matt McClain of The Washington Post has been named “WHNPA Photographer of the Year” and Jim Watson has won “Political Photo of the Year” in the 2018 ‘Eyes of History®’ contest judging at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.

McClain’s first place wins include the On Capitol Hill, Pictorial, and Portfolio categories. McClain said, “I’m humbled to even place. I treat every assignment as if was my last one.” “I still get nervous because of the other photographers I have to compete against, because if you let your guard down a little bit, you’re going to get showed up in a big way,” McClain said. ”

Watson’s image of president Donald Trump was selected as Political Photo of the Year. Watson said, “when Trump came in I was re-energized to continue to make great photos at the White House. It was one if those days where he looked upset and this photo symbolized his anger of the day.”

In commenting on the WHNPA ‘Eyes of History®’ contest winners, President Whitney Shefte said, “We are so pleased by Matt McClain’s big win. He has been such a kind and talented colleague to in this industry. And Jim Watson’s powerful image is a striking photograph that leaves a remarkable impression on the viewer. We are constantly reminded that we’re able to award the best in the business.”

The judges for the 2018 ‘Eyes of History®’ stills competition were: Barry Arthur, Jessica Rinaldi, and Rick Wilking.

“It was almost staggering the volume of the quality if the work we viewed- where we were able to pick the best of the best photographer in the country and the world,” said Arthur. Wilking said” I knew coming in this was going to be difficult, in the political capital of the world to choose a political photo. The current generation of photographers is the best there’s ever been in my experience.” Rinaldi said of McClain’s picture “that she wished she had shot it.”.

Still Photography Contest Chairman Andrew Harnik said “Matt McClain came to Washington a few years ago and has pushed everyone here – not only with his amazing eye but also with an incredible work ethic. Jim Watson has been covering national politics for years and has managed to continue to find fresh imagery year in and year out.”

The multimedia, video and student competitions were also judged at the National Geographic Society over the weekend.

The top winners of the still, video, multimedia and student contests will be honored at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala on June 16, 2018, at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning photojournalists and the President of the United States. Nearly 1,000 guests, including government dignitaries and industry celebrities, attend.

The White House News Photographers Association is a 97-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of Washington’s professional photojournalists. The WHNPA aims to provide professional and educational outreach to its members and the community through scholarships, programming, an annual competition and a celebration of the industry at the annual “Eyes of History®” gala.

The WHNPA and ‘The Eyes of History®’ are sponsored in part by Nikon and Tiffen/Domke.