2014 marks the ten year anniversary of the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography program, which has now awarded almost $1 million in funding to photojournalists. As we prepare to announce this year’s winners on September 4 at Visa Pour l’Image, here is a look back at some of the winners from the past 10 years.
Brenda Ann Kenneally received a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography in 2009 for her long-term project ‘Upstate Girls,’ which documents the lives of young women in the post-industrial city of Troy, New York. Kenneally talks about the grant and her project...
"The grant allowed me the physical and emotional freedom to be present over time in these women's complicated lives. I continue to report on this group of young women in Troy, whose lives have become linked by love and blood and law and class, as revelations about the agency of their bonds unfold with each passing birthday. This past year has been particularly illuminating in the areas of education, mental health and the broader repercussions from the pharmaceutical warehousing of lower income children.
I was able to share pivotal moments with these women, including Kayla, as she turned 21. She was the original Upstate Girl, whose labor and delivery I captured when she was 14. Her now 6 year-old son, De Anthony, was just suspended from kindergarten and diagnosed with ADHD, OCD and separation anxiety.
I was present for the last day (just as I was for the first) of Kayla's neighbor Jessie's five-year probation. Jessie also shares a documented learning disability coupled with the anxiety disorder that her friends Kayla and Chantell and now Kayla's son DeAnthony are coping with. Jessie’s phobia’s worsened when she was incarcerated and now Jessie suffers from separation anxiety so greatly, that she is unable to leave her family's house to attend GED classes.
Heather, a young woman I met when she lived with Kayla's family in 2005, gave birth to her first child. Heather also aged out of court ordered residential placement for ADHD. Kayla's step-sister, Andi Lynn, whom I documented when she lived in Kayla's household while in between residential placements, had her first child this year as well.
The inherent struggle in the multi-year project is often that revelations in the reporting and the editorial support reach a point where they are paradoxically opposite. The Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography is essential to help journalists continue working when traditional outlets have moved on to the next story."
View a selection from Brenda Ann Kenneally's project ‘Upstate Girls.’See more images