Learning from the Experts – Essdras Suarez
Even if you do not pursue photography seriously, the chances are that you must have been captivated by at least one of Essdras Suarez’s photographs. He has worked for newspapers like Denver Rocky Mountain News and the Boston Globe as a newspaper staff photographer for a combined duration of two decades, during which he has covered stories like the conflict in Haiti, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Iraq war, and other events of major significance. He has won the Pulitzer Prize twice for his work.
He has traveled widely, pursuing dramatic locations and events where he could improve his photographic experience. His photographs are generally powerful but natural at the same time, helping the viewer instantly connect with the subject and be drawn into the story that the image is trying to convey.
In his travels, there are many experiences which he believes improves the photographer’s ability to document without prejudice, making them move closer towards the photojournalist’s aim of becoming a “Fly on the Wall”
- Essdras had spent two years on a project called “Crossing Divides” with writer Tom Haines. In this period, he visited Brazil, Venezuela, Egypt, Sudan, Laos, Cambodia, Russia and Alaska, documenting the lives of people in across these cultures. Their stories had appeared in the Globe in 2004 in a four part series.
- Essdras has had to document some of the most horrific events in recent times. He had won a Pulitzer Prize for his photographs of mourners after the Colorado school shooting. He believes that it is important for photojournalists to document real suffering because it is a part of life, and that is what photographers must do to stay true.
- In 2015, he visited the Mayan Riviera as a photo destination and the opportunities that he came across in the visually engaging region overwhelmed him. According to him, there are not many places on earth where a photojournalist can find so many archeological attractions amongst a rich natural environment.
Essdras Suarez believes that traveling and being exposed to many different cultures reduces a photographer’s prejudice towards their environment. This improves the chances of getting better reactive shots under stressful situations. His passion and dedication towards capturing and documenting dramatic events drove him in his career as a photojournalist. Yet, it is his sensitivity towards his subjects which makes him a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.