Michael Williamson on Becoming a Photojournalist
Award-winning photographer Michael Williamson shares with us how his early life in foster homes and the "survival skills, or to use a cliche, people skills" he learned were essential to his success as a photojournalist.
This interview was conducted by PhotoWings in partnership with The Eddie Adams Workshop
Michael Williamson was born in Washington, but grew up in a series of foster homes and orphanages in more than 15 states.It was an experience he says that has led to his interest in documenting the plight of the homeless for the past 18 years. He and a collaborator, writer Dale Maharidge, have produced three books.The first book, "Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass," inspired several songs on Bruce Springsteen's album "The Ghost of Tom Joad." The pair's book "And Their Children After Them" received a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 1990. He shared a second Pulitzer Prize in 2000 with colleagues Carol Guzy and Lucian Perkins for their coverage of Kosovo. A photographer with The Washington Post since 1993, Williamson was named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in the 1995 Pictures of the Year contest and Photographer of the Year in 2000 by the National Press Photographers Association.