It’s a pleasure to select Smiley Pool of the Dallas Morning News as the Star Photojournalist of the Year for 2016.
His entries illustrate his broad range of talents as he covers news, sports and features in an insightful and creative manner that is informative and of very high technical quality.
Obviously Mr. Pool is closely engaged with his subjects, whether capturing a peak moment as in his swimming photo, or the out-of-bounds pass that injects a sense of humor with the oblivious coach within the play.
His empathy for his subjects comes through as one views his image of the elderly couple in the front seat of the car, or the dejected basketball players after a major loss. These photographs transcend to the ultimate level of the Washington Post hierarchy of picture editing in which the photographer is able to capture and share intimate moments with the viewer.
No doubt he is technically proficient judging by the sharp focus and clean backgrounds which benefit the viewer, and he is also curious as he seeks out a different angle that tells a little bit more. Examples of his wondering and wandering would include the kitchen worker who continues his tasks despite the wreckage outside his door, or the overhead view of the police funeral that shows the enormity of the procession while placing it in context.
The readers of the Dallas Morning News are the ultimate winners because they get a better understanding of the world around them thanks to the expertly crafted photojournalism of Smiley Pool.
Heartland Men’s Chorus and and former AP photo editor
Cliff Schiappa’s career as a photojournalist began in high school at a weekly newspaper founded by Walt Whitman in his hometown of Huntington, NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree in photojournalism at the University of Missouri and spent two summers interning at the Providence (RI) Journal. He was a stringer in college for the Associated Press and upon graduation served as contest coordinator of Pictures of the Year. He was a photographer and photo editor at The Kansas City Times for four years then began a 23-year career with the Associated Press in 1984 as a photographer, digital technology advisor, assistant bureau chief and Midwest photo editor, all based in Kansas City.
He covered major stories including the summer Olympics in Seoul and Barcelona, papal tours of the United States and South America, presidential campaigns, conventions and inaugurations, Hurricane Katrina, 1993 Midwest floods, the Final Four, World Series, Super Bowl, Goodwill Games and 8-man football in southern Kansas. In the early 1990s Schiappa visited newsrooms of 120 U.S. newspapers, teaching journalists how to operate the LeafDesk, the first electronic darkroom that transformed the industry. In 2000, Schiappa was promoted to assistant bureau chief and in 2004 he became Midwest photo editor responsible for AP photo coverage in 13 states. He has received top honors from the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, National Headliner’s Award and the National Press Photographers Association. Schiappa has served as a member of the board of directors of the NPPA and a trustee at the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas. He was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2011 and is now the development director of Heartland Men’s Chorus where he also sings low bass.
To see photos from Smiley Pool’s prize-winning coverage, please click the link below: