FOTOmentor Award 2024

David Burnett

President John F. Kennedy, Salt Lake City, Utah. September 27, 1963
© David Burnett (Contact Press Images)


Jimmy Carter, campaigns in the Democratic primary for the presidency. New Hampshire, February 1976
© David Burnett (Contact Press Images)


President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev,
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the U SSR with their respective interpreters,
Geneva, Switzerland, November 1985 - © David Burnett (Contact Press Images)


Leo Jereb, Veteran of the 4th Infantry Division, on Utah Beach where he landed on D-Day, Normandy, France, 1979
© David Burnett (Contact Press Images)


Across from the Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of Apollo 11 that land on the Moon.
Titusville, Florida, USA, July 16, 1969
© David Burnett (Contact Press Images)


Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA, May 11, 2009
© David Burnett (Contact Press Images)


For nearly 70 years, David Burnett has weaved together a breathtaking tapestry of world history. He has photographed every American President since JFK in 1963 and produced a unique collection of portraits of the last 12 occupants of the White House. Curious about the unpredictable events that shape the world beyond America, he authored powerful stories on military and political conflicts, on man-made and natural tragedies across all continents from the Vietnam War to the Fall of the Berlin Wall, to the aftermaths of 9/11 and hurricane Katrina. Since 1974, he revisits the Beaches of Normandy and connects with American veterans who landed in France on June 6, 1944. Mankind’s ceaseless attempts to defy gravity remains an overriding theme as shown by his work on the exploration of space—from the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969 to that of Atlantis 40 years later—and on the achievements by athletes participating in Summer Olympics. FYI, he has covered all 10 games since Los Angeles in 1984. Not surprisingly, Burnett, the co-founder of Contact Press Images intends to visit France in 2024, with his usual array of multi-format cameras, and attend both the 80th commemoration of D-Day at Omaha Beach, followed by the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris.

Born in 1946, Burnett grew up in Salt Lake City, where he began taking pictures for his high school yearbook. In 1968, upon graduation from Colorado College in Political Science, he began a long relationship with Life and Time magazines. It was for the latter that, in 1969, as a 22-year-old intern, he covered Apollo X, XI, and XII, and became forever enamored of the space program. In 1970-1972, he covered the war in Vietnam before joining the Paris-based Gamma Agency for a couple of years. In 1976, he co-founded Contact Press Images, the international photojournalism agency, which distributes his work around the world. An award-winning photographer to which Reporters Without Borders devoted one of their “Freedom of the Press” albums, is the author or co-author of several acclaimed books, including: Iran, 44 Days and the Remaking of the World; Soul Rebel, An intimate portrait of Bob Marley, and most recently in France, Septembre au Chili—1971/1973.

About the FOTOmentor Award:

Each year, the PBPC Awards Committee selects a photographer to receive the FOTOmentor Award in honor of his/her lifetime achievements in the world of photography. Previous recipients include distinguished photographers:

  • Ruth Bernhard
  • David Burnett
  • Keith Carter
  • Bill Eppridge
  • Elliott Erwitt
  • Lawrence Gartel
  • Ralph Gibson
  • Carol Guzy
  • Walter Iooss Jr.
  • Michael Kenna
  • David Hume Kennerly
  • Robert Glenn Ketchum
  • Douglas Kirkland
  • John Loengard
  • Duane Michals
  • Ralph Morse
  • David Muench
  • James Nachtwey
  • Arrnold Newman
  • Gordon Parks
  • Sebastiao Salgado
  • Howard Schatz
  • Brian Skerry
  • Maggie Steber
  • Evon Streetman
  • David Turnley
  • David Rubinger
  • Joyce Tenneson
  • Vincent Versace
  • Albert Watson
  • Art Wolfe

Museum Exhibit

  • Exhibition opens January 30th 2024
  • VIP opening reception  January 30h 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (free to FOTOfusion presenters and gold passport holders, all others $45 )
  • FREE Public opening reception February 1, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm