Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award Report – Hannah Yoon

Hannah Yoon/The Canadian Press Hannah Yoon captured this shot during the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche last October in Toronto during her internship with The Canadian Press.

View samples of Hannah Yoon’s work for The Canadian Press.
View her winning submission for the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award.

By Hannah Yoon

2014 Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award Recipient

I was in disbelief when I got the call that I had been named the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award recipient. I had only begun pursuing photojournalism two years ago and it had hardly dawned on me that I would be working for the wire. With the many talented candidates–many of them my peers–I felt my chances of receiving the award were slim. After the initial shock and excitement wore off, the nerves kicked in. I felt the pressure of living up to name and reputation of Tom Hanson and The Canadian Press.
Right away I was thrown into the mix of things with TIFF. I quickly learned that teamwork is an essential part of working for the wire. It wasn’t about what I wanted to shoot, but what we, as a team, would be able to provide for the wire and it’s clients. I was assigned to press conferences all day for over two weeks, but these were important images that would be used over and over again.I learned the ebb and flow of working for the wire was unpredictable. One day I would be following the Prime Minister, and the next I would be feature hunting because it was a slow day. I was sent to general news events in addition to shooting portraits of designers, musicians and authors. And because news is unpredictable, I had to be ready to go where I was called to go. The pressure to get the image in time pushed me to be ready at all times.I am thankful to have been part of The Canadian Press family for 6 weeks. The experiences and lessons I learned during the internship have been foundational steps to my growth as a photographer. Staff photographer Nathan Dennette challenged me to go out beyond the given assignments and to be aware of the news of the day. Freelancers Darren Calabrese and Chris Young both endlessly gave me tips and feedback as I worked my way through the internship. Staff photographer Frank Gunn challenged me to be aware of the story we, as wire photographers, were telling. He kindly reminded me that this internship wasn’t about the pictures, but rather what I would learn from it. I’m so grateful to the Hanson family, The Canadian Press and The Canadian Journalism Foundation for this opportunity.Working for The Canadian Press gave me the boost of confidence I was always missing. Through mistakes, through successes, through questions asked and advice given, I’m excited this was my platform to continue to grow as a photographer. The real-life pressure, deadlines, and people you meet and experience during the internship isn’t like any other and worth applying for.(All photos Copyright 2014 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah Yoon)To read more about the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, visit the award page.

The Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award is generously supported by: