Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photojournalist Lucy Nicholson Shares Some of Her Favorite Shots

Lucy Nicholson is a news and sports photographer who has covered countless sporting events, including NBA games alongside Andy, seven Olympics, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She was a 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner in Breaking News Photography for Reuters team coverage of migration. She contributed a video story to Reuters’ Emmy-nominated documentary project ‘Times of Crisis’.

Nicholson’s interest in politics and history began at a young age when she was growing up and would travel through Germany with her family. Her first job was a news writer but she preferred to be out in the field and transitioned to news photography.

“I ended up liking visual language much more than language. It just fit for me,” Nicholson said. “The idea of journalism and of bearing witness, I’ve always had this idea that journalism was a very important calling.”

After spending three months on assignment in Chile, she solidified her career in photography. Nicholson began working for Reuters in 2003. 

Nicholson said she learned how to set up remote cameras from Andy. Remote cameras allow photographers to compose shots ahead of the action and get angles, like overhead shots, they would not have access to during the game. 

“One of the things is it’s extremely competitive, we work in the wire services and it’s extremely competitive between each other. When you start doing well, people don’t like it. If you’re the only woman, it manifests in many different ways which are not great,” Nicholson said. “One of the ways I found to keep myself sane and to just find a way around all that. When I first started doing NBA, I decided to not do it in a wire service way and just copy what Andy was doing – I would put six remotes and just take it to the extreme.”

She was scheduled to photograph the Tokyo Olympics which have been postponed to 2021. Nicholson describes photographing the Olympics as one of her favorite assignments and she and Andy discuss some of her iconic shots of Usain Bolt, her experiences at the Rio Olympics, and how she uses remotes to capture the story.

“Sports is not just a professional thing. Sport is what it provides to people’s lives,” Nicholson said.

Both Nicholson and Bernstein were featured in the book Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present by Gail Buckland. One of Nicholson’s photos was of a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who was part of a table tennis program for people with Alzheimer’s. 

“I just remember what sport did for the people who were playing table tennis and what sport has always done for me in my life,” Nicholson said.

She describes her transition to video journalism, her use of drones, and how she is covering the coronavirus pandemic. Finally, Nicholson and  Andy share memories of photographing the late Kobe Bryant and their hopes for the return of live sports. 

Listen to the full podcast here. Watch the video of the podcast on the @legendsofsport YouTube channel.

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