By Tijana Martin
2018 Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award Recipient
I was completely stunned when I found out I was going to be the recipient of the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award. My phone rang and a number from another area code appeared on the screen. The number was unfamiliar, but I immediately recognized the voice of the calle. It was Graeme Roy, the director of news photography for The Canadian Press.
I was shocked to be hearing from him. I believe that’s one of the first things I had said to him on the phone. I had applied for the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award a couple times in the past, but I never received a phone call from anyone on the committee. My gut was telling me that this could be a really good phone call, or it could simply be out of courtesy to say I was close, but not close enough. After chatting for awhile about my application, Graeme informed me they had selected me as the recipient and I was so grateful to be provided with such a huge opportunity.At the time, I was working full-time for the Lethbridge Herald. I had been living in southern Alberta for the past few years and a job at a small daily newspaper was starting to feel too comfortable. Working in a smaller market wasn’t providing me with the opportunities I thought I would need in order to further my career. I was worried I had reached the glass ceiling and that my position was leaving me with little room to grow as a photographer. I knew I still had so much to learn and the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award would certainly provided me with that opportunity.
I knew wire photographers had to keep up in a fast-paced environment and I was nervous, but excited, for the challenge. My internship kicked off with the last few days of campaigning for the Ontario Provincial Election before I jumped into the deep end to cover the election night at Kathleen Wynne’s headquarters event. Prior to election night, I had asked Graeme for a few tips on how to best tackle the election. Setting up some basic cutline information, saving commonly used data as snapshots in Photo Mechanic, and having an idea of when and how often I should be moving photos on the wire, helped teach me to be more efficient while making better use of my time. During my time at The Canadian Press, I had the chance to meet and work with some very knowledgable photographers. There was a lot I learned along the way and it was helpful to see how wire photographers work, especially when it came to photographing sports. I was quickly taught that it’s not all about peak action. Most importantly, it was about capturing the photos that would tell the story of the game. I learned how important it is to keep focus on the key players, as they usually play a major role in the story. I was able to photograph a couple of Blue Jays games, the Queen’s Cup and the Honda Indy Toronto during my internship and those assignments taught me how to anticipate where the action was moving and how to be more thoughtful with the images I choose to take.The six weeks I spent interning for the Canadian Press has had a major impact on my life. After my summer in the city, I decided to pack up my life out west and take the plunge into the Toronto freelance world. I will always be grateful for this opportunity. The internship was full of valuable learning experiences and provided me with a network of photographers to learn from. The Tom Hanson Photojournalism award left me with the confidence and push I needed to pursue my career.
(All photos Copyright 2018/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin)
Details of the 2019 Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award available soon on the award page.
The Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award is generously supported by: