Photo story from MPW66 in Platte City wins international award

A photo story created during Missouri Photo Workshop 66 in Platte City this past fall recently received international recognition.

Michelle Siu of Toronto received one of three awards of excellence in the feature photo story category in the 72nd annual the Pictures of the Year International competition, considered the oldest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the world. Siu’s work, entitled “Twilight on Bradley Farm,” centered on Charles Bradley, a 94-year-old farmer from Weston, Mo.

“Now millions of people will get to see this amazing farm couple. Michelle’s photos are a tribute to them and their family history in our county,” local photographer Bill Hankins said in an e-mail.

MPW 66 chose Platte City as its destination, and 43 photographers from all across the United States and 13 foreign countries descended on the area in September. A week’s worth of work with some of the leading photojournalists, editors and educators in the field produced photo stories with subjects in the area.

The goal of the workshop is to teach participants how to research, shoot and edit photo stories while emphasizing ethical practices.

Siu chose Bradley, referred to as “Mr. Charles.” According to her story description, he “continues to work on his 450-acre farm that has been in the family since 1883. He lives with his wife Mary, 93, who is often confused yet maintains a joyful spirit as much as is possible with her advanced dementia. They manage to live independently with the support of an attentive daytime caregiver. Their story is all-too-common, as small family farms lose their profitability and large-scale farming is becoming the norm. Yet what remains is Mr. Charles, who according to Mary, has never been ‘a rocking chair kinda guy.’

The complete photo story and others can be viewed at MPW’s website.