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Dennis Hissink : March 4th 2005 - 20:00 CET

Photojournalist Essdras M. Suarez honored


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NikonEssdras M. Suarez honored : It's often said that patience is a virtue. With so many photographers rushing to just get a shot that fits, patience is virtually non-existent in the fast-paced world of photojournalism. However, it's this illusive patience, and an unquenchable curiosity, that is often credited as the secret behind the success to one of America's brightest photojournalists, Essdras M. Suarez. This March, NikonNet's inspiring monthly, "Legends Behind the Lens," honors the work of Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Essdras M. Suarez, who currently works for the Boston Globe. To learn more about Essdras Suarez log onto NikonNet's "Legends Behind the Lens" series at http://www.nikonnet.com/legends.
Photojournalist Essdras M. Suarez honoredNikonNet - Essdras M. Suarez
"NikonNet is pleased to honor the images and extraordinary career of Essdras Suarez in this March's 'Legends Behind the Lens,'" said Tracy Mack-Jackson, senior manager of Internet Development and Programs at Nikon Inc. "His numerous awards only tell a fraction of the story. Essdras's work is full of passion, visual excellence and a desire to tell the whole story. Most importantly, his photographs have helped shed much needed light on relevant issues around the world."

Essdras M. Suarez - The story behind
Before coming to the Boston Globe three years ago, Suarez worked for the Rocky Mountain News in Colorado. He is a Pulitzer Prize winner, sharing the 2000 award for spot news for the Rocky's coverage of the shootings at Columbine High School, and he received the Robert F. Kennedy International Photojournalism Award, also in 2000, for Osveli's Journey, the story of a 14-year-old Guatemalan boy who died when a van carrying 13 immigrants crashed on a highway in Colorado.

Suarez moved to the United States in 1988 from his native Panama City and studied at the University of Florida, specializing in photojournalism. It was during an internship at National Geographic magazine, that Suarez developed his trademark patience and love for the in-depth story. "It was pivotal," he says. "I spent two months over a summer helping a couple of their photographers in Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, and that pretty much sealed my fate. Having seen these guys at work, I thought, this is it, this is what I eventually want to be doing."

From November 2003, to October 2004, Suarez had the opportunity to pursue the kind of in-depth story he prefers. Inspired by the idea of the geographic, cultural and political borders that separate people and affect their lives in innumerable ways, Suarez and Tom Haines, the Globe's staff travel writer, embarked on a long-term project. The newspaper backed the idea and its goal: "to travel stark geographic and cultural divides and document the land and lives found within."

Suarez and Haines' words-and-pictures report from South America, Africa, Asia and the Arctic, titled Crossing Divides, appeared as a four-part series in the Boston Globe during the fall of last year. "We'd read about an area," Suarez says, "and research it, always with an eye for the daily life of the people."

This in-depth style of reporting reflects Suarez's penchant for patience in photojournalism. "When we photograph a story, we have a purpose, a focus, but it's often limited," says Suarez. "We go in, get what we need and get out, that's the nature of the newspaper business. But a lot of times I'm thinking that it would be neat to stay longer, to hang out and talk, to be able to learn more about the people I'm photographing and understand more about what their lives are like."





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