Essdras M Suarez is a two-time Pulitzer Prizewinner, who worked as a photojournalist for newspapers for 20 years, and a photographer for over a quarter of a century.
During a recent interview where he was asked if he had a specialty, he said, “As a newspaper photographer, you were expected to wear many hats. In addition to being a photojournalist, you were expected to be a travel photographer, documentary photographer; food, fashion and product photographer, and a portrait photographer among other things.”
He added, “I’m not a specialist – I’m a generalist. I can shoot anything and everything… But my favorite subject is people, so Street, Travel, and Portrait photography hold a dear place in my heart… documenting ‘normalcy’ and making the normal look extraordinary that’s where the challenges lie within.”
Throughout his career, he’s worked in over 60 countries while covering a myriad of assignments including the war in Iraq and the Columbia Shuttle disaster in 2003; a U.S. backed military coup against Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide and the Indonesia Tsunami in 2004. He also covered the Gaza Strip Evacuation in 2006, the Newtown Elementary school shooting, and the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013 to a name a few.
Among his more unique assignments was a trip to Romania in 2009 to document first shipment of radioactive material being shipped from this former USSR satellite country back to Russia. The program was a joint venture between the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Russian Federation, the Romanian Government and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
After moving to the Alexandria, VA he’s continued to freelance for the Washington Post and for ZUMA Press Agency. In 2017 he was the only photographer to get images of congressman (R) Steve Scalise after he was shot during a baseball practice in Alexandria. He more recently covered the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and that of Civil Rights leader John Lewis passing among other national news.
He now applies and shares all of his knowledge and experience as a speaker, educator, and as the founder of EMS Photo Adventures LLC where he is focused on creating and leading educationally geared, on-site and virtual custom photo programs including educational webinars, and short- and long-term mentorship programs.
He continues to be a full-time, freelance photographer specializing in documentary event, Travel Photography, Editorial assignments as well as corporate story-telling photo essays.
His images have been published in such well-recognized publications as the National Geographic, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post and many other world-renowned national and international publications.
As an Educator:
Essdras has been a guest speaker and taught workshops nationally and internationally. He is also a USDOS Expert Speaker in Photojournalism specializing in Latin America.
During his time in Boston, MA, he was an adjunct professor at the Boston University College of Communications and gave talks and presentations at other institutions of higher learning such as MIT, Harvard, Northeastern University and University of Florida.
In 2020 he was named an official social media influencer for Nikon Latin America for the mirrorless Z7 digital camera.
In 2018 he had two exhibits at the Xposure International Photojournalism Festival in Sharjah, UAE as well as teach a Street Photography workshop, which he later repeated in 2019.
He is routinely asked to be a featured and guest speak at conferences such as the:
- YPO/WPO – the premier leadership organization of chief executives in the world.
- TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) – the largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, online travel journalists, new media content creators, travel brands and industry professionals.
- ETC (Educational Travel Conference) – the world’s only conference dedicated to addressing the needs of those involved in educational and specialty travel.
- NECCC (New England Camera Council) Annual Photography Conferences, in Amherst MA.
- He has taught workshops and led photo programs in Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, Israel, Peru, Croatia, Sharjah/ UAE, Tanzania and Kenya.
As an Award Winner:
The following are some of the awards received and exhibits he has had:
- He was featured in March of April 2019 as the cover story in Street Photography Magazine.
- In 2018 and 2019 he taught Street Photography workshops at Xposure International Photo Festival.
- He has had articles published in the Photographic Society of America Journal, the biggest association of photographers in the US: “Where to crop and not to crop the human form” and “Street Photography, timeless classics.”
- In 2018 he had two exhibits featured at Xposure International Photography Festival: An Eye on Cuba, and A life in Images.
- 2014 Spot News Pulitzer (Boston Marathon Bombing), Boston Globe Editorial Staff
- 2008, 2007, 2005 awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation
- 2008, 2000 Headliner Awards for International Photojournalism and Feature
- 2008, 2007 1st Place features category from the Association of Newspaper & Editors
- 2008 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism award
- 2002 – 2012 varied awards from the Boston Press Photographer’s Association
- 2000 Spot News Pulitzer (Columbine Shooting), Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff
- 2000 Robert F. Kennedy International Photojournalism Award
- 1996 – 2001 varied awards from the Colorado Press Association
On a personal level, Essdras was born and raised in Panama City, Panama. He then moved to the US where graduated from the University of Florida in 1993 with a bachelor’s in Sciences of Journalism specializing in Photojournalism.
In 2008 he created his own style of yoga called visYoga.™ He describes is as an ever-evolving physical conditioning system which incorporates principles of yoga, martial arts, personal training, isometrics, stretching and relaxation while paying staying in tune to what happens within the body while keeping a healthy dose of awareness of your surroundings.
He holds a black belt in Ninpo Tai Jutsu and has practiced martial arts for over 20 years. As well as being certified as a body-weight CI, NASM CPT and being a TRX specialist and a Barefoot-training CI.
As his latest physical-fitness endeavor Essdras is exploring the limits of the human body by trying to better his own personal record of how many non-stop days a person can a person safely workout. As of November 6, 2020, he’s been working out non stop for 816 days.