This morning Carol Guzy, 4-time Pulitzer Prize winner for her photographs, spoke to us about her life in photojournalism. She has been literally almost all over the world, covering natural disasters, oppression, and moments happy and sad, big and small, in people’s lives. Although she has captured many significant moments in history with her camera, she says its only a tool, and gets in the way sometimes. One of her goals now is to learn how to paint, so she can capture those moments she missed with her camera.
After her speech, she showed us a slideshow with many of her photographs, grouped by subject matter. There wasn’t a dry eye in the auditorium, including mine, as she showed the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the people struggling in Haiti, and the mutilated children of Sierra Leonean, the fall of the Berlin wall, the Kosovo refugees, and many others.
As she showed these photos that she had taken, the audience was completely silent, I myself was completely taken into the scenarios she set with her photographs. As she said, “I went into photojournalism to shoot feelings,” and I feel that she succeeded. The emotion captured in these stills was authentic, and I was deeply moved. I thought that these pictures were a warning to what will happen if we don’t stick to our morals, but also a symbol of hope, despite the sorrowful tone; that people would find strength when they needed it, to do what needs to be done in a given circumstance.