In his photographs we see people and historical events through the keen, alert eye of an eminent camera artist.”
. . . The Winds of War author Herman Wouk
David Hume Kennerly, a contributor for NBC News, has been shooting on the front lines of history for four decades. He has photographed eight wars, seven U.S. presidents, and has traveled to more than 140 countries along the way. He is an authentic global photographer, as much in his element in the desert covering combat as he is capturing dramatic and intimate behind-the-scenes photos of the world’s leaders in the corridors of power.
Kennerly was recently named, “One of the Most 100 Most Important People in Photography” by American Photo Magazine, and last year was selected as the 2007, “Photography Person of the Year,” by Photo Media Magazine.
At age 25 Kennerly won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for his photos of the Vietnam War, and two years later was appointed President Gerald R. Ford’s personal photographer. He has also won the Overseas Press Club’s Olivier Rebbot Award for “Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad,” for his coverage of Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev’s historic summit meeting in Geneva. He also won first prizes in the World Press contest for his dramatic and powerful photos of the war Cambodia just before it fell to the Khmer Rouge.
He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy as executive producer of NBC’s, “The Taking of Flight 847,” and was writer and Executive Producer of a two-hour NBC pilot, “Shooter,” starring Helen Hunt, based on his Vietnam experiences. “Shooter” won the Emmy for “Outstanding Cinematography.” He is executive producer of the recent short documentary, “Portraits of a Lady,” starring former Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, which made the short list of films eligible for the 2008 Academy Award nominations.
Kennerly has been on the masthead of Time and John F. Kennedy, Jr’s George magazine, and was a contributing photographer for Life Magazine, and a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine for ten years. He has more than 50 major magazine covers to his credit, featuring photos of Ansel Adams, Ronald Reagan, Gerald R. Ford, Deng Xiaoping, Anwar Sadat, Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jonestown, The Clintons, John McCain, and many others.
Kennerly has published several books of his work, Shooter, Photo Op, Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld, and in the year 2000, Kennerly traveled more than 250,000 miles to 38 states and seven countries for his fourth book, Photo du Jour: A Picture-a-Day Journey through the First Year of the New Millennium. Photo du Jour was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by American Photo Magazine, and the Smithsonian Institute exhibited photographs from the book in their Arts & Industry Building in Washington, D.C., one of the largest photographic shows ever mounted by them. He also worked on several, “Day in the Life,” book projects on The Soviet Union, America, The People’s Republic of China, and the United States Armed Forces.
His most recent book is Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. Former First Lady Betty Ford said, “Extraordinary Circumstances is a wonderful record of the Ford Presidency. David Kennerly’s heart and soul are in this book.”
Award-winning photographer Doug Menuez said, “The range of images and perfect moments add up to a master class of great photojournalism, timeless, classic and relevant. It feels very emotional, intimate, and worlds away from our current super-posed, photo-op political culture. What is truly amazing is how easy Kennerly makes the photography look. … Extraordinary Circumstances fills an important gap in American history from a rare talent given a ringside seat, it is an incredible achievement.”
Kennerly is on the Board of Trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the board of the Eddie Adams Photo Workshop, the Atlanta Board of Visitors of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and a member of the advisory council, Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin. His archive is housed at the Center for American History at the University of Texas, Austin, which is also the publisher of three of his books.
Kennerly is a Canon Explorer of Light, and exclusively uses their digital cameras for his work. The August issue of “pdn” features a full page Canon ad about one of his photos that runs on the inside back cover of the magazine.
View David’s work