Five inductees will join Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame

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Five inductees will join Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame

The Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame is set to induct five accomplished photojournalists in this year’s ceremony scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Center for Missouri Studies in downtown Columbia.

Founded in 2005, inductees this year represent the Hall of Fame’s 18th class and include the late photojournalist and columnist Ken Paik; freelance photojournalists Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson; editor and educator Mary Schulte; and newspaper photojournalist Don Shrubshell.

Photographs made by the inductees will be on display in the Sam B. Cook Hall at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Center for Missouri Studies, located at 605 Elm St., Columbia. Those photographs will join the Hall of Fame’s existing collection of work by prior inductees.

The Photojournalism Hall of Fame was founded at the urging of Bill Miller Sr., publisher of the Washington Missourian twice-weekly newspaper, to recognize outstanding contributors to visual communication with ties to Missouri.

Information about the Photojournalism Hall of Fame and previous inductees can be seen at photojournalismhalloffame.org. RSVP for the induction ceremony online at bit.ly/mophotoj or by email at mharper@mopress.com

— Ken Paik —

Ken Paik graduated from Yonsei University in Korea where his dad was the president of the university for many years and stayed on as President Emeritus after the retirement. Ken immigrated to America in 1963 from his native Seoul, South Korea where he enlisted in the Marines despite a privileged upbringing. He was a photographer at The Kansas City Star and Times after finishing graduate school at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia.

Paik once worked as the graphics director for the newspapers in Jacksonville, Florida, and then later became the director of photography for The Evening Sun in Baltimore, Maryland. He was promoted to assistant managing editor for news at The Evening Sun and worked in that role until he left the newspaper in 1992 to be a columnist and consultant for the New York City edition of Korea Times. He won a World Press Photo award for his coverage of the first major famine in Ethiopia.

In 1982, NPPA honored him with the J. Winton Lemen Fellowship Award for outstanding service in the interests of press photography and for outstanding technical achievement in photography. As a photo editor, Ken saw to it that his staff learned from his example how to tell a story with photos and how to find the pictures within pictures.

Ken died in 2006 of acute myelogenous leukemia survived by his wife, Sue, and two adult children, Randy and Angie. Several of his journalism colleagues wrote memorial pieces about their work with Ken, highlighting his larger-than-life personality, his boisterous vocabulary, his candor, his integrity, his wisdom and his humor.

— Melissa Farlow —

Melissa has worked extensively in the American West for National Geographic. She drove 20,000 miles for a magazine story and book on public lands, as well as a documenting and following herds of mustangs. Another driving trip took her through South America to chronicle life along the Pan American highway for a book title, “The Long Road South.” Her National Geographic magazine stories include West Virginia’s mountaintop removal mining and culture and climate change in the Alps. Most of her work centers on the themes of land and people, including Alaska’s Tongass Forest, Okefenokee Swamp, Hudson Valley, Meadowlands, National Road, Kentucky Horse Country, Invasive Species, US National Parks and a photo-biography of landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted. Before freelancing, Melissa worked as a staff photographer at the Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times newspapers. She has a Pulitzer Prize for a joint project documenting desegregation of the public schools in Louisville, Kentucky.

Farlow received a National Headliner Award as well as Pictures of the Year honors for single images, long term projects and a portfolio award while on the staff of the Pittsburgh Press. Named Distinguished Alumni by the IU School of Journalism, she was inducted into Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

Her images are printed in over 70 books including Women in the Material World, Day in the Life series and a number of Geographic’s books including The Photographs, Best 100 Wildlife Photographs and in Women Photographers at National Geographic.

Farlow teamed up with Terri Farley for Wild at Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them, an award-winning book focusing on America’s wild horse legacy. Her love of horses traces back to an early age when she recalls writing to Roy Rogers to ask if he could send her Trigger. Her parents gave into her passion and found her an old one-eyed cow pony named Silver that ate watermelon rinds and chewed tobacco.

In addition to projects for the Heinz Endowments, the Ford Foundation and Habitat for Humanity, her work is published in Smithsonian, GEO, LIFE, Stern, Marie Claire, American Craft, American Bungalow, National Geographic Traveler, The Nature Conservancy and Sierra magazines.

In the 1980s, Melissa taught photojournalism at the Missouri School of Journalism and earned her Master’s in Journalism. She mentors photographers for non-profits including The Photo Society and Girls Who Click. She has served more than 20 times as a Missouri Photo Workshop instructor, and she is a renowned faculty member at other workshops throughout the world.

— Randy Olson —

Randy Olson is a photographer in the social-documentary tradition. He often collaborates with his wife, Melissa Farlow, and their assignments have taken them to over 50 countries in the past 30 years. Although they are published in LIFE, GEO, Smithsonian and other magazines, they have primarily photographed projects for the National Geographic Society. They work individually but have also co-produced National Geographic magazine stories on northern California, American National Parks, and the Alps. They photographed the southern United States for a book by Collins Publishing and have collaborated on over 70 books by various publishers. After teaching at the University of Missouri, they have been consistent contributors as faculty to the Missouri Photo Workshop created by the MU professor who coined the term “photojournalism.”

While working as a newspaper photographer, Olson received a LIFE magazine Eisenstadt award and an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship to support a seven-year project documenting a family with AIDS, and a first place Robert F. Kennedy Award for a story on problems with Section 8 housing. He was also awarded the Nikon Sabbatical grant and a grant from the National Archives to save the Pictures of the Year collection.

Reaching almost a million on social media, most of his work centers around resource extraction and how that affects Indigenous communities or pristine ecosystems. Randy’s 30+ National Geographic magazine projects have taken him to almost every continent. The National Geographic Society published a book of his work in a Masters of Photography series. Olson was the Magazine Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition and was also awarded POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year—one of only two photographers to win in both media in the largest photojournalism contest operating continuously since World War II. More recently, Randy is the recipient of the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) Photographer of the Year, and the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (HIPA) International Photography Appreciation Award. SIPA and HIPA—only one consonant apart—but represent different parts of the world honoring his photography and volunteer work.

In 2011, Randy founded The Photo Society (thephotosociety.org) to provide support for, and exposure to members as the economics of print dwindles. The National Geographic photographers elected Randy to represent them on the Photographers Advisory Board (PAB) – a group that represents the photographers in contract negotiations with National Geographic. During his tenure, the PAB successfully rebuffed National Geographic’s attempt to take the photographer’s copyright away from them and The Photo Society was born as a result of the increasing need for National Geographic photographers to stand together. The Photo Society reaches 5 million viewers on social media.

When National Geographic Image Collection (NGIC) closed the agency and their archive to the outside world, making many of their most-published photographers invisible, he began resurrecting the NGIC archive within the auspices of The Photo Society. The Photo Society archive is a 501c3, funded by donations.

As the economics of print dwindles, they support their documentary work by doing advertising campaigns and corporate work. Randy photographed the Toyota Land Cruiser campaign in the Yukon and Australia. Randy and Melissa have done advertising photography for Becton Dickinson, HSBC Bank, Audi, Cleveland Clinic, Stratos Global and others so they can continue to support socially responsible documentary projects. They live in Pennsylvania and Oregon.

— Mary Schulte —

Mary Schulte received her B.S. in Physical Education and Spanish at Missouri State University and pursued an M.A. in Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia with a double emphasis in magazine writing and photojournalism. After a short stint at a newspaper out of state, Mary returned to her hometown, Kansas City, and began work as a photojournalist at The Kansas City Times. She covered general assignments from spot news to fashion to photo essays at The Times and then at The Star, when the newspapers merged. Relying on her experience as a high school and collegiate athlete, and her physical education background, Mary provided sports coverage, including photographing coach Marty Schottenheimer and Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas during their first year in Kansas City, as well as team coverage for the Royals and the Chiefs. One of her first long-term photo stories followed two nuns who ran an inner-city daycare, and the lifelong relationship she developed with Sisters Berta and Corita led her to volunteer with Operation Breakthrough, where her photos are used in their brochures and programs as well as on their walls.

Mary has supported and encouraged women in the field of photojournalism as she supervised photo department interns and worked with peers in the profession. In 2004, Mary served as the co-director of the Women in Photojournalism conference, which brought hundreds of photojournalists to Kansas City for the national meeting.

When Mary agreed to work as a photo editor for a year, she had no idea it would eventually turn into 15 years in a variety of editing positions with the sports, features, metro and online desks. One of her most exciting collaborations was working with the editing team and photographers covering the Kansas City Royals on their road to the World Series in 2015. After leaving The Star in 2016, she continued with her photography business, PhotomomentsKC.

Throughout her career, Mary has been an educator. She has spent 25 years as an adjunct professor at Johnson County Community College, where she helped to develop the photojournalism course. Mary currently teaches at Gardner-Edgerton High School as the Digital Photography teacher and head of the Broadcast Journalism program.

— Don Shrubshell —

Don Shrubshell’s newspaper career began in high school, when he signed up for a vocational program that landed him a job as a custodian and then as a mailroom and print shop worker at the Maryville Daily Forum.

After some time working in the process camera room shooting negatives of newspaper gallies, he was invited to become a photographer. When he accepted the gig, he also took a 50-cent-an-hour pay cut. Since then, he’s spent 41 years performing and honing his craft – for nine years at the Arkansas City (Kansas) Traveler, a short time at the Hutchinson (Kansas) News, eight years at the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau and 24 years at the Columbia Daily Tribune, where he continues to work today.

The ability to cover spot news, and a commitment to doing it right, has been the hallmark of Don’s photojournalism career. In one instance, he had been assigned to photograph a woman who got a hole-in-one on a local golf outing, when an item on the police scanner caught his attention.

Don was convinced that a shooting death in the tiny town of Skidmore 14 miles away would make a great story, so he and a reporter drove to the scene of the crime. Don and the reporter were the only journalists on the scene after the murder of Ken Rex McElroy, the town bully whose unsolved murder is still legendary. Don’s iconic photos of the scene, including McElroy’s bullet-ridden truck, have been published nationwide.

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