RIT Connections Abound in Top 2021 Photos Recognized by “TIME”, “New York Times”

The story of 2021 – told visually in the best images of the year chosen by photo editors at TIME and The New York Times-has multiple links with the nationally recognized school of photographic arts and sciences (SPAS) of the RIT.

Joshua Rashaad McFadden, award-winning and internationally recognized assistant professor of photography at SPAS, included a photo on both lists. He was recognized with three former RIT photographers — Evan Vucci ’00 (professional photographic illustration), Tom Brenner ’16 (photojournalism) and Edmund Fountain ’03 (photojournalism) on both lists.

McFadden’s photography for The New York Times of April 12, 2021, captured a standoff between police and hundreds of protesters a day after the murder of Daunte Wright, a black man who was shot and killed by an officer during a traffic stop.

“I took this photo while documenting the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota,” McFadden recalls. As the trial was underway, we learned of the sad news that police killed Daunte Wright, another unarmed young black man in Brooklyn Center, Minn. The fierce protest began immediately and continued beyond of the end of the trial, where Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd.

Making the top two photo lists capped an extraordinary year for McFadden, who opened a major solo exhibition in the main galleries of the George Eastman Museum in November that runs through spring.

Pop star Olivia Rodrigo’s photo of Vucci arriving at the White House to promote the COVID-19 vaccine and the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts on July 14, 2021, earned her a spot on the 100 images TIMEPhoto editors have chosen as the best of 2021.

“I have two preteen daughters, so Olivia Rodrigo is a superstar in my house!” Said Vucci, the Associated Press’s chief photographer in Washington, DC “I heard she was going to be filming the White House videos to promote the COVID vaccine. I just waited by the west wing door until she arrived. Her shoes and outfit ended up being a talking point, and I was able to tell my children that I had seen Olivia Rodrigo at work.

The past year has also been professionally exceptional for Vucci, who was part of a 2021 Pulitzer Prize-winning team that helped AP’s photography team win Breaking News Photography’s top prize for a collection. fascinating photographs of several American cities that have consistently captured the country’s response. to the murder of Floyd by the police.

He joined an ever-growing list of top journalism winners with connections to RIT, becoming one of 11 RIT graduates who have now won a total of 15 Pulitzer Prizes.

Brenner, a photojournalist who currently covers US politics for Reuters, made TIMEthe listing of his grim image at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on August 29, 2021, of President Joe Biden turning a blind eye during the dignified transfer of the remains of US servicemen, who were killed in a suicide bombing days earlier in Kabul.

Fountain, an award-winning New Orleans-based photojournalist, secured a spot on The New York Times Top photo listing for his August 30, 2021 image of Marrero, Louisiana, capturing floodwaters surrounding a statue of Jesus at St. Pius Church in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. The Category 4 storm caused widespread power outages and killed at least 26 people statewide.

In addition to photographers with ties to the university, four former RIT photo editors at The New York Times—Heather Casey ’15, Beth Flynn ’89, Amanda Webster ’15 and Elijah Walker ’21 — each played a key role in a series of photos that made the newspaper’s list.

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