(WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb., 23, 2020) – The White House News Photographers Association® announced that photographer Chip Somodevilla of Getty Images has been named “WHNPA Photographer of the Year” and Erin Schaff of the New York Times has won “Political Photo of the Year” in the 2020 ‘Eyes of History®’ contest judging at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.
Somodevilla’s first place wins include the Political Portfolio, Portfolio, and Domestic News categories. Somodevilla said, ”It is an honor to be recognized in a contest with so many amazing images by equally amazing photographers. We have a tight community of journalists who support each other and push each other to be better year after year. Like all awards, this one was actually won by the whole editorial team at Getty Images.”
Erin Schaff’s image of the House Judiciary Committee reviewing the finalized articles of impeachment against President Trump was selected as Political Photo of the Year. Schaff said, “The photo was part of a long-term, behind-the-scenes project to show impeachment preparations on both sides of the aisle. I’d like to thank the team at the New York Times who made this possible and specifically my editor Marisa Schwartz Taylor who produced the project.”
In commenting on the WHNPA ‘Eyes of History®’ contest winners, President Whitney Shefte said, “Congratulations to Chip, Erin and all of the still photography award winners for their tremendous work. Our winners documented some of the most important moments of 2019 with great skill and sensitivity. We’re incredibly proud of them.”
The judges for the 2020 ‘Eyes of History®’ stills competition were: Elizabeth Herman, Andrew Johnston and Marcus Yam.
“For all the chaos and upheaval in historical moments of 2019 the photographer showed great tenacity in their pursuit of the most memorable image that told the story of the start of the impeachment process,” said Yam of the Political Photo of the Year. Herman said “We saw innovative and thoughtful approaches to covering a year of historic moments in Washington. It’s a testament to photojournalists’ new ways of seeing and the investment in visual journalism that we hope to see continue to rise.” Johnston added, “It was a privilege to help evaluate the work of Washington’s talented and critically-important photojournalists. They capture the essence and subtleties of politics in pictures, despite significant daily access restrictions.”
Still Photography Contest Chairman Andrew Harnik said ”It’s a near impossible task to select winners from some of the best photographers in the country. Every year, thanks to the tireless assistance of our organization’s volunteers, who leave their families and friends to devote their time and energy to putting on the contest.”
The digital storytelling, 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 13, 2020, at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning visual journalists. Hundreds of guests, including government dignitaries and industry celebrities, attend.
The White House News Photographers Association is a 99-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.
For more information, please contact Whitney Shefte at [email protected] or executive director Heidi Elswick at [email protected] . For further information about ‘The Eyes of History®’ and to view the winning images and videos, visit the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org.