2021 WHNPA Still Photography Award Winners Announced

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb., 28, 2021) – The White House News Photographers Association® announced that photographer Doug Mills of The New York Times has been named “WHNPA 2021 Photographer of the Year” and has also won “Political Photo of the Year” in the 2021 ‘Eyes of History®’ contest judging.

Mills’ first place wins included Political Portfolio,, Campaign, Sports Feature, Presidential and Political Story. ”This is quite an honor,” said Mills. “There were a lot of great pictures from Jan. 6 and the politics this year were unmatched. I could not have done this without the support of Meaghan Looram, Becky Lebowitz and Lauren Steel, all of the Times’ photo department.”

In commenting on the WHNPA ‘Eyes of History ®’ contest winners, President Whitney Shefte said, “We are so thrilled to honor Doug for his incredible photography during such a challenging year of coverage. It’s unbelievable that he’s never won this top honor before, but the association’s 100th anniversary is a great time for him to finally do it! Congratulations Doug!”

The judges for the 2021 ‘Eyes of History®’ stills competition were Yunghi Kim, an independent photojournalist, Brooks Kraft of Apple and Jewel Samad of AFP. “It was hard to cut some good work. This was a lot of fun,” said judge Yunghi Kim.

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 Political Photo of the Year, also by Doug Mills of the New York Times, was a picture of President Donald Trump descending from an airplane in the rain, holding an umbrella as lightning struck the sky. “We had no idea lightning was coming. It was raining and we had heard about a storm. I was shooting and then a huge brightness lit up the sky. We got in the car, I threw the disc in the computer and said “Oh my G-d! That lightning strike lasted for less than 2 seconds.”

The digital storytelling, video and student competitions were also judged virtually over the weekend due to the ongoing pandemic.

The top winners of the still, video, digital and student contests will be honored at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala later this year in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning visual journalists. The WHNPA is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021.

The White House News Photographers Association is a 100-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of Washington’s professional visual journalists. 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] (301-606-8251). For further information about ‘The Eyes of History®’ and to view the winning images and videos, visit the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org.

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