Essdras M Suarez
Suarez is not a specialist – but a generalist, who happens to be able to shoot a vast array of different photographic genres extremely well including Spot News, Travel, Street Photography, Fashion, Portraits, Food, Product, Nature, Landscape, etc.
However, it is Travel and Street Photography hold a special place in his heart. Especially because of his uncanny ability to connect with people, which also happens to be his favorite subject to photograph. He focuses on documenting “normalcy” and making the normal look extraordinary. “Therein lies the challenge! he says.
Suarez, a two-time Pulitzer Prizewinner, worked as a newspaper photojournalist for over 20 years and during a recent interview said, “As a newspaper photographer, you are expected to wear many hats. In addition to being a photojournalist, you are expected to be a travel photographer, documentary photographer, food and product photographer, and a portrait photographer.”
He added, “You simply were expected to be able to do it all, unlike working in an area where you can afford to become a specialist. So, in essence, you have to become a “specialist” in many genres of photography.”
Now, Suarez applies and shares his knowledge and experience as a speaker, educator, mentor, and freelance photographer:
- In this year of 2020 because of social distancing and travel restrictions he has emphasized his role as an educator by offering online webinars and by offering portfolio/ photo/ and photo collections reviews and curation. He also offers long-term mentorship programs.
- As the founder of EMS Photo Adventures LLC, he’s led photographers on adventures and in workshops focused on doing hands-on training on location while helping photographers take their skills to the next level with dedicated, on-location guidance and instruction. (Currently because of the COVID-19 situation, these travel programs have been put on temporary hold but will resume in 2021.)
- In addition, he continues to be a full-time, freelance photographer focusing on documentary-style event coverage, Travel Photography, Editorial assignments as well as corporate story-telling photo essays.
As a Photojournalist:
Throughout his career, Suarez worked in over 60 countries while covering a myriad of assignments.
Among his many news coverage assignments throughout his career are the Columbine High School shooting, the war in Iraq, and the Columbia Shuttle disaster, the bloody ousting of Pres. Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti and the Indonesia Tsunami. The evacuation of the Israel Gaza Strip settlements, the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the Boston Marathon Bombing to name a few.
Among his many unique assignments was that of traveling to Romania in 2009 to document the first US D.O.E. and Russian government joint venture to repatriate nuclear material from former USSR satellite countries back to Russia.
In 2017, after having moved to northern VA, on the morning of June 14th he was awakened by the sound of gunshots, which led to the only existing photos of U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise being transported in a gurney to a waiting medevac helicopter after he and others were shot by an angry constituent during a Congressional Baseball Game for Charity practice.
Suarez has also earned awards with his Travel, Portrait, Business, and even Product Photography. His images have been published in National Geographic, Time Magazine, New York Times and Washington Post, and many other national and international publications.
Most recently, Suarez:
- Was featured in March of April 2019 as the cover story in Street Photography Magazine.
- Had two articles published in the Photographic Society of America Journal (PSA Journal), the biggest association of photographers in the US: “Where to crop and not to crop the human form” and “Street Photography, timeless classics.”
- Had two exhibits featured at Xposure International Photography Festival in 2018: “An Eye on Cuba” and “Life in Images.”
- In 2019 he was a judge for the biggest Travel Photography contest in the world: Travel Photographer of the Year contest.
As an Educator:
- In 2018 and 2019, Suarez taught Street Photography workshops at Xposure International Photo Festival in the UAE
- Essdras has been a guest speaker and has taught workshops nationally and internationally and is a USDOS Expert Speaker in Photojournalism specializing in Latin America.
- While in Boston, MA, he was an adjunct professor at the Boston University College of Communications and gave talks and presentations at other institutions of higher learning such as MIT, Harvard, Northeastern University, and the University of Florida.
- He is routinely asked to speak at meetings and conferences such as YPO/WPO – premier leadership organization of chief executives in the world. He has been a guest speaker a couple of times to the NECCC (New England Camera Council) Annual Photography Conferences, in Amherst MA.
- TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) – the largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, online travel journalists, new media content creators, travel brands, and industry professionals.
- ETC (Educational Travel Conference) – the world’s only conference dedicated to addressing the needs of those involved in educational and specialty travel.
- He has taught and lead photo workshops locally and internationally for the past decade.
- In addition, as of the year 2020, he was named an official social media influencer for Nikon Latin America for the mirrorless Z7 camera.
As an Award Winner:
- 2014 Spot News Pulitzer (Boston Marathon Bombing), Boston Globe Editorial Staff
- 2008, 2007, 2005 awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation
- 2008, 2000 Headliner Awards for International Photojournalism and Feature
- 2008, 2007 1st Place features category from the Association of Newspaper & Editors
- 2008 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism award
- 2002 – 2012 varied awards from the Boston Press Photographer’s Association
- 2000 Spot News Pulitzer (Columbine Shooting), Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff
- 2000 Robert F. Kennedy International Photojournalism Award
- 1996 – 2001 varied awards from the Colorado Press Association
Essdras the Person:
On a personal level, Essdras was born and raised in Panama City, Panama. While attending the University of Florida he did an internship/ assistantship with National Geographic magazine. After graduating with a bachelor’s in sciences of Journalism specializing in Photojournalism, he was awarded in 2010 the honor of Alumnus of Distinction award by his alma mater.
After leaving the Boston Globe in 2014 he was the Chief Photographer for a photography-based online platform called million eyez, which focused on generating exposure for photo aficionados by the creation and distribution of theme-based galleries.
In 2008 he created his own style of yoga called visYoga.™ He describes it as an ever-evolving physical conditioning system that incorporates principles of yoga, martial arts, personal training, isometrics, stretching, and relaxation while staying in tune with what happens within the body while keeping a healthy dose of awareness of your surroundings.
Suarez also holds a black belt in Ninpo Tai Jutsu and has practiced martial arts for over 20 years and is certified as a body-weight CI, NASM CPT. He was trained as a TRX specialist and a Barefoot-training CI.