I have always had a great admiration for Holly Pickett. I looked up to her as a young photographer at the University of Montana and if not for her I wouldn’t have received an internship at the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Chattanooga, Tenn – an internship that turned into a five-year staff position. I remember her turning cartwheels down the halls at the Times Free Press, impressing the entire newsroom with her athleticism and bubbly attitude. I followed her amazing images when she worked for the Spokesman Review and I remember her sitting in the nearly empty Beacon office – only a year old, if that – and telling me, “Yeah. I’m moving to Cairo.”
Little did I know what kind of photographer Ms. Pickett would become. Now, based out of Cairo, Egypt, Holly is documenting stories in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kabul, Kandahar, Yemen, Gaza, Egypt and Tunisia (I’m sure I left somewhere out) and her images have been published in numerous national outlets.
This past month, the Montana Standard has a great Q&A with Pickett (a Butte native) and more recently the Great Falls Tribune profiled her time in Egypt and Tunisia. Check out both stories (especially the sweet photo of Pickett on the Tribune site), but more importantly, check out her blog, The Pickett Lense, and be wowed by her stories, images and sensitivity.
I look forward to the work she has yet to produce, pray for her safety daily and am always thankful that photographers like Holly are telling the stories I wish I was brave enough to tell myself.
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