Quebec bride drowns during Trash the Dress photo shoot

“A recently married bride wanted to be photographed one more time in her wedding dress. The photo shoot on Friday wound up killing her.” -The Globe and Mail, Newlywed bride drowns, wanted one last photograph in wedding dress

Trash the Dress shoots after weddings have been popular for the last decade or so (google image search with examples), but one such photo shoot recently ended in the death of the bride. A newly-married bride was standing in a river in Rawdon, Quebec, Canada, when her wedding dress began absorbing water. The weight was too much and she slipped on rocks in the water. The photographer and two police officers tried to save the woman, but she disappeared in a stagnant section of the water downstream. Police later explained that though the current was not very strong nor the water very deep, the soaked dress became too much for the woman and dragged her underwater.

Worth a look again: Paula Lerner’s “Behind the Veil: An Intimate Into the Lives of Kandahar’s Women”

Paula Lerner‘s death last week came as a shock. At 52, Lerner succumbed to breast cancer, leaving behind a legacy of strong photojournalism and long-reaching influence throughout the photojournalism community. Working with the photography business advocacy group Editorial Photographers, Lerner helped negotiate magazine contracts that paved the way toward fair pay and copyright protections for freelancers. With the non-profit Bpeace, she helped startups in conflict areas provide local jobs as a means toward reaching peace. I never met Lerner, but knew many who did. She was a strong force in photojournalism–we’ve all benefited from her efforts to guide the business of photography–and she will be missed.

One of her most significant achievements is Behind the Veil: An Intimate Into the Lives of Kandahar’s Women, a look at the lives of women in Afghanistan. The work earned Lerner and the rest of the reporting team at the Globe and Mail an Emmy. Vital and in-depth, it addresses an issue that’s frustratingly under-reported and treats its subjects with dignity and humanity. We need more photojournalism like this. Spend a few minutes watching (or re-watching) Behind the Veil.

Committee to Protect Journalists’ Report on Journalists Killed in 2010

Committee to Protect Journalists - Report on Journalists Killed in 2010

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released their annual report on journalists killed due to their jobs. In 2010, 44 journalists were killed in situations confirmed to be directly related to their job, what CPJ terms “motive confirmed.” Another 4 media workers (people in roles supporting journalists, such as translators, guards, or administrative workers) were killed in 2010, and 29 journalists were killed in ways that may or may not have been related to their jobs. Of the 44 motive-confirmed deaths, 3 were photographers. Other interesting numbers: 89% of motive-confirmed deaths were local reporters, as opposed to foreign correspondents; 61% were considered murders, compared to 14% being combat-related deaths; 96% of the murders had complete impunity, while only 4% received partial justice. Interestingly, while online journalists have been jailed more frequently than print journalists in recent years, 41% of the deaths in 2010 were print journalists, compared with only 14% of the deaths involved internet journalists.

For comparison, here’s the 2009 report.