Searchlight incident: "Get pictures, tell stories"

2021-11-16 17:27:09 By : Mr. Mark Mou

It is often said that the golden age of photojournalism began with the invention of the portable film camera and ended in the 1970s with the demise of publications such as "Life" magazine. The magazine’s photos attracted a large audience and provided several generations of photographers. A place to showcase skills. Newspaper photography was left to fill in the blanks, but did not provide the same expansive canvas. Digital photography and online news further push the purest form of photojournalism into an obscure background. In a world where most people now keep their cameras in their pockets, the demand for skilled photojournalists has declined-and the number of photos in circulation has exploded beyond anyone's imagination. 

In this webinar, the New Mexico Searchlight brought together acclaimed photographers to discuss the role of photojournalism today and in the future.

The host and group members will describe how their images not only tell the story, but also convey information and emotions. News photography flourishes in new ways, exposing us to a large number of images that have the ability to unite or divide us. How does this shape our world?

Location: Broadcast via the Zoom webinar.

Time: Thursday, April 1st at 2 pm (MT)

This event has ended, you can now watch the full recording on demand. 

Don J. Usner is a native of New Mexico and works as a photo editor and photographer for Searchlight New Mexico. His photographs have also appeared in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Lenswork, USA Today and Photo Booth (The New Yorker's online blog), as well as many local and regional magazines.

Usner received a bachelor's degree in biology and environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master's degree in geography from the University of New Mexico. He has written, co-authored and provided photographs for many books, including "The Natural History of Big Sur"; Sabino's map: Life in the Old Square of Chimayo; ¡ Óral! Lowrider: New Mexico State; Chasing Dichos through Chimayó; and Valles Caldera: New Mexico National Reserve Vision. He also teaches photography in high schools and universities. 

Lopez has 31 years of experience as a photographer and photo editor in The New York Times. He is a member of the Time Photography team, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His newspaper tasks range from the Olympics and Super Bowl to domestic and foreign stories, including documenting the last days of the Bosnian War in 1995. 

Lopez is also a member of the White House Press Corps and has reported on three presidents: Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, and Bill Clinton. His work at The New York Times includes assignments, mentoring, and photo editing; he also helped shape an application in his thesis, which is considered a milestone in its digital development. 

A native of Santa Fe, Lopez retired from The Times in 2015 and is now a freelance photo editor and mentor to young colleagues, sharing with them insider details of reporting historical events to deepen their professional skills and polish photos The library and stories are created on During his ten years as the Director of Photography at the New York Times Student Journalism School, he selected and mentored four photographers every year to help undergraduates hone their skills.

Ada Trillo is a Philadelphia photographer, born in Juarez-El Paso, the two metropolises. In her work, she focuses on the boundaries of tolerance and exclusion because they are experienced through sex trafficking, climate and violence-related international migration, and long-standing ethnic and class boundaries. Through the elements of documentary photography and fine art photography, Trillo demonstrates our common humanity and dignity, and amplifies their voices to pay attention to the influence of boundaries on the exploited and marginalized people. Trillo's work is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She is the winner of the 2020 Women’s Focus Best Series Award, and has recently been reported in publications such as The Guardian, Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine, and Mother Jones. She won the Me & Eve Grant from CENTER Santa Fe, a non-profit organization that supports the art of photography, and won the first place in the editorial category of the Tokyo International Photography Awards. Trillo has held domestic and international exhibitions in New York City, Philadelphia, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. 

Michael Benanav is a writer and freelance photographer known for immersing himself in foreign cultures and bringing back fascinating stories and images from faraway places.

His first book "The Man of Salt: Across the Sahara Desert in a Platinum Caravan" tells the true story of a 1,000-mile journey with the world's last working camel caravan. His second book "The Luck of the Jews: The Unbelievable Story of Loss, Love, and Survival in the Holocaust" traces the amazing wartime experience that brought his grandparents together in 1944. Their animals and ancient way of life follow the nomadic buffalo herders to migrate to the Indian Himalayas every spring.

Benanav has also written and written for The New York Times, New Mexico Searchlight, Lonely Planet, Christian Science Monitor, Geography, Sierra, Faraway,, Hand/Eye, etc. / Or shooting. His photographs appear in the book National Geographic, Rare: Extraordinary Images, and are exhibited at Lincoln Center and the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Indira Gandhi National Art Center in Delhi.

Searchlight New Mexico will host this event in cooperation with CENTER Santa Fe, a non-profit organization that supports photographers and promotes the art of photography for social justice.

Searchlight New Mexico is a non-profit news organization based in Santa Fe, dedicated to providing influential investigative news for the public interest. Photography is at the core of Searchlight's mission. It provides images that inspire compassion and tell great stories.

441 Greg Avenue Santa Fe, NM 87501

Mail: PO Box 32087 Santa Fe, NM 87594

Searchlight New Mexico is a non-partisan, non-profit news organization dedicated to providing investigative and public service news for the benefit of the people of New Mexico.

Our mission is to provide high-impact investigative reports to inspire New Mexicans to demand action on the systemic issues that plague our state.

We believe that excellent reporting can inspire all New Mexicans to face racial and economic inequality, government corruption and negligence, and abuse of power.

Searchlight New Mexico is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Our tax number is 81-3234552. Your donation is tax-deductible.

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