2023 WHNPA Still Photography Award Winners Announced

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb. 19, 2023) – The White House News Photographers Association® announced that Carol Guzy, working for ZUMA Press and NPR, has been named WHNPA 2023 Photographer of the Year and Brendan Smialowski of Agence France-Presse was awarded Political Photo of the Year in the 2023 ‘Eyes of History®’ contest judging.

Carol Guzy’s first place wins included International News, Feature Picture Story, News Picture Story, Portrait and Pictorial.

In commenting on the WHNPA ‘Eyes of History®’ contest winners, president Whitney Shefte said, “Carol showed us again that she is the absolute best by taking these top honors for the 9th time in her career. We’re so pleased she earned this award the year after we were able to celebrate her incredible career with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Brendan has also taken top WHNPA awards before and continues to shine with his remarkable work. Huge congratulations to both!”

Guzy said: “I am shocked. You are making me cry and I am pleasantly surprised and beyond thrilled. It means so much to me. Honestly this is testament to the importance of the story of Ukraine. The spirit and the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people is amazing. They deserve the awards. I just take the pictures. I’m beyond thrilled for this recognition – it’s testament to the profound importance of the stories in Ukraine. I’m in Florida with Misha, a soldier who lost both legs. He’s getting prosthetics. The spirit, courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people is epic and it’s so humbling to tell their stories. They deserve awards. I just take their pictures. This is also encouraging to all the elders of our profession, like me. The passion for storytelling is indeed ageless. Harder is the freelance part – gratitude to Zuma and NPR for their invaluable support. And to the WHNPA – huge thanks for this honor. Told ya, I wasn’t done yet!”

Commenting on his Political Photo of the Year award, Smialowski said, “I’m happy to see this photo recognized. Last year I received similar recognition for a photo of presidents Biden and Putin meeting prior to the invasion of Ukraine. This year’s image of presidents Zelenskyy and Biden also represents a quiet moment in a conflict. Both photos are contributions to different chapters in a long story.”

The judges for the 2023 ‘Eyes of History®’ still competition were Susan Biddle, retired photographer at The Washington Post; David Burnett of Contact Press Images; and Ruth Fremson of The New York Times.

“We are the tough judges going through this stuff and we were just moved beyond words on Guzy’s work,” said Burnett. “I’ve judged other national contests. I thought this was incredibly hard because the level of work is so incredibly high to start with, and there was so much of it. Kudos to everyone who swathes through working in one of the hardest places in the country and produces wonderfully historic images on a daily basis,” Fremson said.

Biddle added, “The competition in Washington is so intensive. Some of the best photographers in the world come here, so that did make it very hard to judge. On the Political Photo of the Year – that really moved us because the darkness of Biden’s face was like the darkness of Ukraine and the weight on his shoulders on helping Ukraine. The light on Zelenskyy’s face was like the light looking into the future.”

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. 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. Thanks also to our judges who give up a weekend to help choose the best photos of the year.”

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 102nd anniversary in 2023.

The White House News Photographers Association is a 102-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®’ awards 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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