Feature photography is also a category where the Pulitzer Board could go for the “big story” of the year and award coverage of the U.S. presidential elections. The New York Times has another contender here with work by Damon Winters who won in 2009 with his coverage of the Obama campaign. However, a lot of talented photographers covered this election and someone from a place other than The Times could prevail, such as M. Scott Mahaskey of Politico who had a winning portfolio at the Northern Short Course built around his campaign photos and the protests.
These guesses can be thrown out the window by several factors. The Pulitzer Prize winners list is a tight secret and so are the judging deliberations. Both photography awards are judged by one jury that sends three nominations to the Pulitzer Prize Board. All jurors lists remain confidential until after the winners are announced.
The Pulitzer Board, which this year has 19 members, picks the final winners from the jurors’ nominations. The Board has been known to move entries into different categories so, for instance, a breaking news entry could actually win in feature photography. Also, photographers or photography staffs could be part of an entry in other categories like investigative reporting and be awarded the Pulitzer that way.
As fluid as the judging can seem, the final results are set in history. “Pulitzer-Prize winning” is an adjective winners carry through the rest of their lives, for good reason. Come Monday, we will know if any of these photographers will have that distinction.
Do you have a favorite for the photography Pulitzer Prizes we didn’t mention? Drop an email to [email protected] and we can share those too