MEET THE artists



Nina Berman

Photographer / Photojournalist

My Why: "Through my images and work, I want to contribute to building a community of thought and practice that challenges corporate domination and abusive power structures and champions individuals engaged in acts of resistance for the purpose of creating a world based on shared resources, open communication and respect for human life. "

Bio: is a documentary photographer, author and educator, whose photographs and videos have been exhibited at more than 100 venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is the author of two monographs: Purple Hearts – Back from Iraq, and Homeland, which examine the aftermath of war and the militarization of American life. She is a member of the NOOR photography collective and is a professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New York City.

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Andrea Bruce

Photographer / Photojournalist

My Why: "Throughout my career I have striven to create an empathetic bridge between cultures and experiences that are foreign to each other. In my view, the best way to do that is through a medium with no language barriers -- photography.  If war or illness is not happening in your country, it is easy to turn away from it. To ignore it. To wall-off the horrors that exist elsewhere in the world. My job is to break down this wall to draw attention to the beauty and similarities of people. It is only when people relate to the victims and protagonists, that they will care and pay attention."

Bio: documentary photography, Andrea Bruce brings attention to people living in the aftermath of war. She is a co-owner and member of the photo agency NOOR. Her awards include top honors from the White House News Photographers Association (where she has been named Photographer of the Year four times), the International Pictures of the Year contest, and the prestigious John Faber award from the Overseas Press Club in New York.  She has also been a finalist for The Aftermath Project grant and a 2011 recipient of the Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship. In 2010 she received the WHNPA grant for her work in Ingushetia. In 2012, she was the recipient of the first Chris Hondros Fund Award for the “commitment, willingness and sacrifice shown in her work.”  In 2014 she won a World Press Award for a photo in Syria. Recently, she was offered the Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University. Andrea is currently based in Mexico City.

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Photographer / Photojournalist

My Why: "Art is a powerful means of expression, but combined with the unvarnished reality of journalism it has the ability to bring awareness to issues that can elevate understanding, compassion and hopefully meaningful action. For me it’s very important to gain the trust of my subjects, spend time with them and go behind the scenes as their story unfolds. It is critical that the viewers can imagine themselves trying to live their lives."

Bio: Renée C. Byer is an award-winning American documentary photojournalist best known for her in-depth work focusing on the disadvantaged and those who otherwise would not be heard. Her ability to produce photographs with profound emotional resonance and sensitivity earned her the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 2007 and dozens of national and international honors, including the World Understanding Award from Pictures of the Year International, and Pulitzer Finalist in 2013. Byer’s internationally acclaimed book, “Living on a Dollar a Day: The Lives and Faces of the World’s Poor,” illuminates the stories of people living on the brink of survival, and is a call to action to eradicate extreme poverty. 

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Photographer / Photojournalist

My Why: "This work is the work of art but more importantly, the work of life. I fully believe in the power of photographs to change everything from minds to the course of history. But most images work on an intimate level—in the heart—and that is where I hope you hold the photographs on this site. Take them in and consider how they can change, your life, all lives, for the better."

Bio: “I’m short,” says Lynn Johnson. “That’s one of the things I pack in my camera bag.” Also invisibility, compassion, sun screen and outrage. A regular in National Geographic, Johnson is known for shooting elusive subjects—language, disease, rape, water—and for asking tough questions. Her thesis as a Knight Fellow at Ohio University probed hate crimes; at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications she challenges master’s students to push past their own comfort levels. Dedicated to exploring the far reaches of the human condition, she spends maybe two months a year at home in Pittsburgh, packing that camera bag over and over. 

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Photographer / Photojournalist / Filmaker

My Why: "I take on issues that stir my passions about the state of humanity and our world, and I deeply believe in the power of still images to change people’s minds. I’m driven by this fact; that the work of photojournalists and documentary photographers can have a positive impact on the world. The access people give to their lives is precious as well as imperative for this important work to get done. Their openness brings with it a tremendous sense of responsibility to tell the truth but to also honor their stories.”

Bio: Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. A sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition. Through his photography and filmmaking, along with his work as a mentor, teacher and lecturer, Kashi is a leading voice in the photojournalism and visual storytelling community. Kashi’s innovative approach to photography and filmmaking produced the Iraqi Kurdistan Flipbook with MediaStorm in 2006, which has been shown in film festivals and museums around the world. An eight-year project completed in 2003, Aging in America: The Years Ahead, has created one of the most extensive visual archives on aging in the United States. As a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine, he has produced 17 features since 1991. Along with numerous awards from World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International, UNICEF’s Photo of the Year 2010, a Prix Pictet 2010 Commission and honors from Communication Arts and American Photography, Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide. He has seven books, including Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta and THREE. Kashi’s latest book Photojournalisms, is a compilation of journal writings to his wife, done over a nearly 20-year period, from various locations around the world. In 2015 he was named Multimedia Photographer of The Year by Pictures of the Year International. 

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Natural History Photographer

My Why: I was seduced by the ocean's siren song from a young age and wanted to explore beneath the waves.  After becoming a diver, I discovered photography and had an epiphany -- I would explore the ocean with a camera.  Being a visual storyteller about the undersea realms was a passion I could not ignore.  Over time, however, I began to see problems in the oceans -- issues that were not immediately seen to most people.  My work today is a blend of celebratory work and reportage.  I create images that help people fall in love with the sea, while also shining a light on the problems and potential solutions.

Bio: Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments.  Since 1998, he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine, covering a wide range of subjects and stories.  In 2014, he was named a National Geographic Photography Fellow and in 2015 was named a Nikon Ambassador.

Brian's work has been recognized worldwide, receiving numerous awards including 10-time winner in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.  He is the author of 10 books including his acclaimed monograph "Ocean Soul."  His latest book, "SHARK," will be released in 2017.

Amy Toensing

Photographer / Photojournalist

My Why: "I want to give voice and presence to those we ordinarily would not see. I strive to immerse myself in my subjects’ lives in order to make real and informed images. I want my photographs to move people: to evoke a change of heart or an appreciation of something beautiful, to inspire someone to act. But what I want most for my images is to connect, engage, and foster understanding between people."

Bio: Amy Toensing, an American photojournalist committed to telling stories with sensitivity and depth, is known for her intimate essays about the lives of ordinary people. Toensing has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine for over a decade and recently completed her fifteenth feature story for them. She has covered cultures around the world including the last cave dwelling tribe of Papua New Guinea, the Maori of New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga. She has also covered issues such as the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Muslim women living in Western culture. For 4 years she documented Aboriginal Australia which was published in the June, 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine. Currently, Toensing is working on a story about Widowhood for National Geographic Magazine, funded by the The Pulitzer center on Crisis Reporting. Toensing’s work has been exhibited throughout the world and recognized with numerous awards, included an exhibit at the 2012 Visa Pour L’image, Festival of the Photograph in Perpignan France. Her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. A photograph she took in the Australian outback was chosen as one of National Geographic magazine’s all time 50 Best Photos.