Following today’s announcement of the Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund Award recipient, Daniel Berehulak and finalist, Preston Gannaway, we talked with the Fund’s founder and Chris’ fiancée, Christina Piaia. Shining a light on this year’s recipients, their body of work and the Fund at large, you’ll learn how the organization lives up to its mission of advancing “the work of photojournalists who espouse [Chris’] legacy and vision.”
InFocus: Please tell us about the Chris Hondros Fund. How has it opened up new opportunities and exposure for talented photographers?
Christina Piaia: The Chris Hondros Fund was founded in honor of Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed April 20, 2011 on assignment in Misurata, Libya. Furthering the fund’s mission to bring shared human experiences into the public eye, the Fund is dedicated to supporting the work of photojournalists and emerging photojournalists and raises awareness of those reporting from conflict regions. After spending much time thinking and discussing how to best honor Chris, we chose to support and celebrate those photojournalists working in the field today - in the hope of provoking thought and fostering understanding.
Since 2011, the Fund granted $60,000 to photojournalists; supported three photography exhibitions and classroom learning experiences; and co-sponsored three battlefield medicine first-aid training programs for photographers and journalists.
IF: What’s the response you’ve seen with the release of TESTAMENT, a book dedicated to Chris' powerful photos and essays?
CP: We’ve received an overwhelming thoughtful and positive response to Testament. This project nearly covered the span of three years. And with it, came a range of emotions and meaningful discussions with Pancho Bernasconi [VP of Editorial Imagery, Getty Images], Sandy Ciric [Director of Photography, Getty Images] and many others. We discussed not only Chris’ photographs and words, but his thoughts and interactions with others. For me, one of the most poignant descriptions of Testament, came from Todd Heisler, a dear friend and colleague of Chris’, who describes this book as “continuing the conversation that [Chris] started.”
IF: What qualities do you look for in the body of work you select for the Getty Images and CHF award recipients?
CP: In selecting a recipient for the Getty Images & CHF Award, we seek a photojournalist whose work embodies and demonstrates exceptional ability, and who is committed to creating a visual history through imagery that brings shared human experiences into the public eye, in the spirit of Chris and his continuous drive to tell a story. We encourage nominators to look to our past award winners and finalists as examples of the quality of photojournalists we celebrate - taking into account the nature of the photographer as well as his/her body of work.
IF: Tell us about this year’s recipients and why they were chosen?
CP - This year, we selected Daniel Berehulak as our recipient in recognition of his unyielding commitment to photojournalism, exceptional photojournalistic work, and the compassion and rigor with which he approaches some of the most compelling and complex news stories of our time.
Learn more about Daniel's body of work
Our finalist Preston Gannaway was chosen to celebrate her incredibly intimate, powerful and telling documentary work that brings shared human experiences into view.
Learn more about Preston and her body of work
Image Credit: Preston Gannaway
Image Credit: Preston Gannaway
IF: What’s next for the Chris Hondros Fund? Can you share new projects you and your team are working on?
CP: For the past year, CHF has been working to develop a paid summer internship program in collaboration with a domestic newspaper. From inception, the Fund has recognized the importance of supporting and encouraging emerging photographers - our first award, now given annually, was to a student at the Eddie Adams Workshop. I fondly recall Todd Heisler (CHF Board Member) reminding us how we need to find those Chris Hondros’ working in Troy, Ohio- referring to Chris’ early career at the Troy Daily News. We hope to begin this program in the summer of 2015.
The Chris Hondros Fund will host a reception at the Aperture Gallery, 547 West 27th Street in New York on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. to present the Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund Award as well as host a silent auction to benefit the fund’s grant and awareness programs. To purchase tickets, please visit www.chrishondrosfund.org/benefit.
About Christina Piaia:
Christina Piaia is a public interest attorney practicing in New York. Prior to law school, Christina worked as a supervising picture editor for The Associated Press. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry and a Juris Doctor degree with a concentration in international women’s human rights. As a dedicated and passionate public interest attorney, Christina proudly serves on the board of two nonprofit organizations.
About Daniel Berehulak:
Daniel Berehulak is an award-winning photojournalist based in New Delhi, India. A native of Sydney, Australia, Daniel has visited over 40 countries covering history-shaping events including the Iraq war, the trial of Saddam Hussein, child labor in India, Afghanistan elections and the return of Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan, and documented people coping with the aftermath of the Japan Tsunami and the Chernobyl disaster. His coverage of the 2010 Pakistan floods was recognized with a Pulitzer Prize nomination, one of several honors his photography has earned including three World Press Photo awards and the prestigious John Faber award from the Overseas Press Club.
As of July 2013, Daniel joined Reportage by Getty Images as a key represented photographer, to focus on a combination of long-term personal projects, breaking news and client assignments.
About Preston Gannaway:
Preston Gannaway is a Pulitzer Prize-winning independent documentary photographer. For more than 12 years, she has focused on intimate stories about American families and subcultures. She has worked as a staff photojournalist for a number of newspapers including The Virginian-Pilot, the Rocky Mountain News and the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire. Her story on the St. Pierre family, Remember Me, was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. She is currently based in Oakland, California, accepting editorial and commercial work while pursuing long-term projects.