USA Today staff photographer Robert Hanashiro was named Jan. 17 by the National Press Photographer’s Association as the recipient of the Morris Berman Citation.
The award is given to an individual for special contributions advancing the interest of photojournalism.
Hanashiro is the founder of Sports Shooter, a popular online community of sports photographers and photojournalists. It began in 1998 as an email newsletter created by Hanashiro and originally was passed along to a handful of fellow sports photographers and photojournalists as a way for him to share his experiences, insight, concerns and rants about the state of sports photography and photojournalism. This informal newsletter soon grew to over 7,500 subscribers worldwide.
Hanashiro later started the popular SportsShooter.com website and various educational programs. The Sports Shooter Workshop & Luau drew over 450 photographers and students annually.
Hanashiro has been on staff with USA Today since 1989 and has covered a wide variety of news and sports events, including Super Bowls, NCAA Championships, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, World Series and World Cups. He regularly covers the major entertainment awards shows and for the past seven years has been one of just four news photographers covering the Academy Awards from backstage. He is currently covering his 13th Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
“This recognition by the NPPA is humbling and is also a tribute to my family, USA Today and all of the people that helped me over the years develop this idea of an online community of photojournalists,” Hanashiro told The Rafu Shimpo. “At the time, this was a new concept and it brought together photographers, editors and students from around the world.”
“Sports Shooter started out as a simple email newsletter, sent out to my friends and colleagues. Its growth over the years into a popular website and workshops has educated, enlightened and inspired countless photographers.”
“When I was growing up and going to school in Fresno, Calif., there was little available at the time to help us grow and know what it was like to be a professional photojournalist. After working for a few years in this business, I always took the opportunity to help other photographers, speak at schools and colleges, and contribute to the growth of photojournalism.
“Sports Shooter is just an extension of that desire to give a little something back to a profession that has been very good to me.”
Allen Murabayashi, chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter, will receive an NPPA Special Citation for his continued advocacy for photojournalism through his writings and support of NPPA.
PhotoShelter is the worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing and archiving tools for photographers. Its philosophy is that the Internet should make it easier to build a following and grow a photography business. Over 70,000 photographers around the world are using PhotoShelter today. The team, which also provides free educational guides and regular webinars, is based in New York City.
Murabayashi is an avid photographer and frequently speaks on how photographers can use online marketing to grow their businesses. Before PhotoShelter, he served as a founding employee and senior vice president of engineering at HotJobs.com, where he assisted in the company’s massive growth from a four-person start-up to a publicly held company with over 675 employees. He oversaw a staff of 50 engineers, and was responsible for the development of HotJobs.com, Softshoe, and a number of internal applications.
Born and raised in Honolulu, he graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in music with distinction.
The NPPA is an organization encouraging photojournalists to reflect high standards of quality in their professional performance and vigorously promotes education and freedom of the press. The organization has over 10,000 professional and student members worldwide.
NPPA’s annual awards and honors will be presented during NPPA’s Northern Short Course in Warwick, R.I., in March. For details on the awards, go to https://nppa.org/node/64729.