From the judges: This photo made evident the relationship between the man and the service animal. We loved the colors and clarity of this entry!
Emory Medicine, Man on Fire
Photography > Individual Photographs
Institution: Emory University
Title of entry: Emory Medicine, Man on Fire
About this entry: The story of Jalen Richardson in and of itself is unbelievable.
Richardson, a young Georgia Army National Guardsman, survived a fiery motorcycle crash and recovered with the help of an Emory surgeon and experts from the Grady Memorial Burn Center. Although this was a horrific accident, the overarching theme of the feature story was his triumph. The photographs used in the feature had to convey both the gravity of Mr. Richardson’s injuries and the beauty of his humanity.
The feature article captured the long arc of Richardson’s recovery, from the trauma of his arrival at the safety net hospital, his transfer to the burn unit, and the comprehensiveness of his care at the burn center, to the integral role that therapy dogs played in his recovery. Although his injuries were horrific, the story is hopeful and joyous, and Richardson’s indomitable spirit shines throughout.
We wanted to capture the photograph that best captured this joyful quality as the opening spread of the feature. We always knew it would be a photo of Richardson and Shadow, his service dog. We had dozens, perhaps hundreds, of amazing photos to choose from. But this one stood out, for the playfulness, the camaraderie, the sheer connection between a man and his companion animal. Shadow had pushed Richardson to not only walk, but to run. This moment in time, while not the most technically perfect of the photos we had to select from, told their story...one of trust, of friendship, and of love.