April 11th, 2012
04:44 PM ET
On Wednesday an august crowd of visitors was seen gathered in the White House briefing room preparing for a visit with the president. But it wasn’t the traditional group of politicians or business executives. Instead it was none other than several members of the White House press corps.
These folks were first place winners in the White House News Photographers Association’s The Eyes of History 2012 photo competition. Each winner gets to come to the White House for a photo with the President to be used later in the association's awards book and for promotional purposes.
The WHNPA was founded in 1921 by 17 still and motion photographers who were frustrated by the limited access they were given to cover the business of Washington DC. Soon after, President Warren G. Harding created the first press room for photographers and the group quickly began gaining access to more events throughout government.
The WHNPA's stated goal is to “protect and promote photographers' interests in pursuing their mission,” and since 1941 the group has honored the best in photojournalism. Its contest has expanded over the years, and this year three CNN employees were among the group of winners at the White House today.
Photojournalist Khalil Abdallah won first place in the spot news editing category for a story he shot and edited in Libya titled “Rape Victim.”
Photojournalist John Bodnar won first place in the sports video photography category for a story he shot on the Potomac River and co-edited with CNN’s Joann Sierra titled “Keep Rowing.”
And Photojournalist Bethany Swain won first place in presidential editing for a piece she shot and edited titled “George Washington’s Christmas Camel.”