Today Heidi Levine was announced as the first winner of the Courage in Photojournalism Award that was put in place after AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus’ tragic death in Afghanistan last year. It’s truly fitting that she’s won this award. I had the chance to work along Anja and Heidi at different points in the past decade, two very dedicated journalists and photographers – the thing that I think I could see about both of them was they always found the heart and soul of a story, and put everything about themselves into that process.
The award is for outstanding women photojournalists that “reflect the courage and dedication of Anja Niedringhaus,” the IWMF said. Well, it couldn’t be more deserved by Heidi. She’s a tough woman, raising three kids in the Middle East while still working as a photojournalist in one of the harshest environments to balance life and career.
From an interview with the Wall Street Journal: She says among the obstacles facing a female conflict photographer is balancing motherhood with her career, which is “not an easy balance to maintain.”
“I was once told that I could not be a photographer that covers conflict and a mother and I believe I proved him wrong,” she said of a colleague who challenged her ability to pursue photography in areas of conflict.
Hats off. This is a well deserved win, and something that will hopefully show other young women what they can do in the future.
To check out some of Heidi’s work, click here.
-Header photo by Heidi Levine