Each year TIME LightBox pays tribute to the photographers who died. For many of us at TIME, they were friends and colleagues; for many of those reading, they were family and loved ones; and for all of us, they were trail blazers, visionaries and icons.
It would be difficult this year, however, to approach this article without acknowledging the loss of two other colleagues, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, whose deaths rippled far beyond the journalistic community. The circumstances of their deaths have been covered widely; despite efforts to wipe the videos of their executions by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) from the internet, remnants remain in the digital ether, but more so in the darkest depths of the collective consciousness of those who witnessed them. The videos drew the U.S. deeper into the Syrian civil war, and proved the lengths to which ISIS would go to engender fear in a horrific power play to control its message.
It is difficult to find anything positive in an event that was so dark and irredeemable. But it forces us to reflect on a profession that is becoming increasingly dangerous exactly when such journalism has become vital. Foley and Sotloff were two of 23 journalists and aid workers kidnapped by insurgents in Syria and either sold or handed over to ISIS; two of 66 journalists killed this year, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders; and two of 119 journalists that were kidnapped in 2014, according to the same report. Over 200 journalists were jailed by governments in 2014, with China topping the list, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Freelancers and local reporters are especially vulnerable; 90% of those kidnapped in 2014 were local journalists, and 139 professional journalists plus 20 citizen-journalists fled their homelands in fear into countries where they would not be guaranteed safety or protection.
The implications of these numbers can be put in another way: good journalism is not just the responsibility of the journalistic community; it is a global effort that must be bolstered by individual governments’ commitment to protecting the freedom of the press, and fought for in the face of authoritarian entities. It has become far too dangerous a fight for the individual – or even the individual organization – to tackle.
“Sometimes it is easy to forget why we need [journalism] at all,” jailed Al-Jazeera reporter Peter Greste wrote in December. “Journalism can, at times, look pretty sordid, and few of us who work in it can claim to have never succumbed to the more base instincts of our trade. And in the wired world of the internet, with its citizen reporters and millions of sources, it is tempting to wonder why we need professional journalists at all. But that noise is the reason itself. Never has cleared-eyed, critical, skeptical journalism been more necessary to help make sense of a world overloaded with information…The best journalism puts a frame around an issue. It helps define it, clarifies it, makes sense of it. And, above all, it challenges authority.”
As we remember the photographers we lost this year, let us bear in mind the lengths many of them went to be image makers, and remember that freedom of the press, as well as freedom of speech, are not given. The men and women we pay tribute to made the most of the ability they had to express themselves, as photojournalists, artists, and creators; their photographs were etched in light and engraved into history.
Rene Burri (1933-2014)
Legendary Magnum photographer René Burri‘s body of work is a chronicle of the political and cultural people and events that shaped the last half of the 20th century. At the age of 13, Burri made his first photo of Winston Churchill as the prime minister zipped through his hometown in an open-top car. His first photo essay documenting a school for deaf and mute children in Zurich was published in Du magazine when he was just 23. His work would go on to be published in LIFE, Look, Geo, Stern, The New York Times, and Paris Match among many others. He became an associate member at Magnum Photos in 1955 and a full member in 1959. He created iconic and intimate portraits of Che Guevara, Le Courbousier, Picasso, Giacometti and Baragnan; he photographed the Suez Canal crisis, the Vietnam War, and a divided Berlin with a sensitive and humanist eye; he made studies of the architecture and urban landscapes in Latin America, Asia and Europe that verge on abstract without ever losing what he referred to as ‘the pulse of life’.
“Most people will remember Rene Burri for his portrait of Che with a cigar, which must be on t-shirts, mugs, watches and etched into so many minds by now,” Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas told TIME. “But for those of us in Magnum, Rene was the one who brought us all together each year, at the end of our annual June meeting, for a group picture, and if someone was missing, he collaged them in. Rene, was deeply curious and with his Swiss passport he covered the world, especially adventuring where others were limited by the Cold War. All of us are off on individual paths, but our group picture was the one time of year to express that collective spirit we share.” Burri died at the age of 81 on Oct. 20.
Ralph Morse (1917-2014)
LIFE’s longtime managing editor, George Hunt, reportedly said, “If LIFE could afford only one photographer, it would have to be Ralph Morse.” In his 30 years as a LIFE photographer, Morse became one of the greatest photojournalists of his time and captured history as it unfolded. Starting in the 1940s at the age of 24, he became LIFE’s youngest correspondent during World War II, covering the brutality of conflict and the relief at the end of the war. He captured crowds on the streets of New York gathering around a car radio to hear news of JFK’s assassination, and Einstein’s office, in the exact chaotic state the scientist had left it, on the day he died. He photographed Jackie Robinson dancing off third base in the 1955 World Series and an ailing Babe Ruth bidding a final farewell to his fans at Yankee Stadium the day his jersey number was retired. He spent so much time covering NASA’s Mercury 7 that John Glenn dubbed him ‘the eighth astronaut’. He photographed for LIFE until the day it closed in 1972, bringing to each assignment a gregariousness that was as much a part of his personality as an integral part of his work.
“A good photojournalist goes into any situation prepared,” he said in one of his last conversations with LIFE.com editor Ben Cosgrove. “You find out something, at least one key thing, about the topic you’re going to cover. And, as importantly, you make friends — you make friends with everybody, wherever you go. Because you never know when you’ll need to go back there, for one more picture, or to follow up on a story.” Morse died at the age of 97 on Dec. 7 at his home in Florida.
Phil Stern (1919-2014)
Renowned Hollywood photographer Phil Stern died on Dec. 13 at the age of 95. His most well-known image of James Dean peeking over the collar of his sweater (slide 18) was one in a prolific collection of iconic photographs taken in a career that spanned over 60 years. Stern cut his teeth first photographing crime for a police gazette in New York City, eventually becoming a freelancer for magazines such as LIFE, Look, and Colliers. During WWII he enlisted in the army and became a combat photographer, capturing the 1st Ranger Battalion in North Africa and the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. He returned to Los Angeles with several shrapnel wounds and a Purple Heart, and began the body of work for which he would become most famous, photographing everyone from Marilyn Monroe to John Wayne, Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald. In 1961, he was enlisted by Sinatra to be the official photographer of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural gala.
“Phil had incredible access to those subjects who became some of the greatest legends of all time,” says Geoff Katz, owner of CPi, who worked with Stern for over 20 years. “He had an extraordinary talent and innate ability to connect with his subjects in a way that made them feel at ease, natural and vulnerable allowing Phil to capture precious moments while also creating indelible portraits of the most most celebrated icons of the 20th century.”
Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014)
The Associated Press sustained several losses this year. Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus was murdered at the age of 48 on April 4 while covering the national election in Afghanistan when a police officer opened fire on a car that she and AP special correspondent Kathy Gannon were traveling in.
Niedringhaus began her career at the age of 16 at a local paper in Hoexter, and became a photographer for the European Press Agency in 1990 following her coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall. She went on to work in some of the most dangerous areas of the world, covering the conflict in the former Yugoslavia for EPA, and then across the Middle East, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, for AP from 2002. She was the only woman on a team of 11 AP photographers that won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2005 for their coverage of the war in Iraq.
“There are not enough words to describe Anja, the most caring, honest, brave and committed photojournalist,” wrote Muhammed Muheisen, an AP photographer who was with Niedringhaus the night before she was killed. “My friend, who I met in a war zone and made me feel safe and loved. Everybody loved Anja, her smile could melt a mountain. Her pictures told stories of people, whom she portrayed full of pride and worked hard to raise their voice. She believed in the goodness of people and no matter what, she never lost hope. I was so concerned about her safety in April, but her last words to me were ‘Momo, this is what I meant to do, am happy to go.'”
Dave Martin (1955-2014)
Known to many as Mullet (after the fish, not the hair-do), AP photographer Dave Martin had a sense of humor and generosity that was matched only by his dedication to his work. “His impact on the AP was, in my opinion, profound,” long-time friend and colleague Bill Haber told TIME. “When you worked on an assignment with Dave, you knew how hard he was going to work, so it stepped up your game. His impact is with all of the staff that ever worked with him.”
Martin began his career as an AP staff photographer in 1983 in Montgomery, Ala. after a brief stint at the Lakeland Ledger. Over three decades, Martin covered almost every major news event in the South including Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill, and the tornadoes that struck Alabama in 2011. He also traveled for AP, shooting Superbowls, Olympics, Ryder Cups, sporting events and political conventions, as well as conflicts in Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq. He was named regional manager in 2004, and fostered strong relationships with the many local news outlets that would file to AP. He was tireless in his efforts to get the public the best news images possible, whether taken by him or by another photographer. He was renowned for perfecting the ‘water bucket’ shot at football games when players empty a gatorade bucket over their coaches’ heads. Martin was the first on the field at Georgia Dome on Jan. 1 of this year, at the Chick-fil-A Bowl following Texas A&M’s 52-48 win over Duke to capture just that moment when he succumbed to a heart attack and collapsed at the age of 59.
Franklin Reyes (1975-2014)
Cuban photographer Franklin Reyes covered daily life in his country with a depth and sensitivity that elevated the ordinary. An integral part of AP’s team on the island, Reyes imbued seemingly small stories with lyricism and emotion, from his images of ballerinas, to young boys training as boxers, to fleeting but beautiful scenes on the streets of a country that has been so isolated from the outside world. On Nov. 4 of this year, Reyes was on assignment shooting a story on Cuba’s economy when he lost control of his car and crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting another car. He died at the scene of the accident at the age of 39.
Michel du Cille (1956-2014)
In an article that Washington Post photographer and three-time Pulitzer prize winner Michel du Cille wrote shortly before his death in October of this year, he discussed the difficulty of covering the Ebola crisis in West Africa: “How does one give dignity to the image of a woman who has died and is lying on the ground, unattended, uncovered and alone as people walk by or gaze from a distance? But I believe that the world must see the horrible and dehumanizing effects of Ebola. The story must be told; so one moves around with tender care, gingerly, without extreme intrusion.”
This respect for the subject was foundational in du Cille’s approach to his work. Du Cille began his career in photojournalism at the age of 16 at the Gainesville Times in Georgia. He joined the staff of the Miami Herald in 1981 and won his first Pulitzer four years later for his work on the volcano eruption in Colombia. Two weeks into working on the project that would win him his second Pulitzer, a photo essay on life inside a crack house for the Herald in 1987, du Cille’s editor Gene Weingarten asked him how the work was progressing. He said to Weingarten, “No pictures yet. I haven’t taken my camera. First comes trust, then the work.” After seven years at the Herald, du Cille joined the Post as a photo editor, helping to build up the department and overseeing the newspaper’s Pulitzer prize winning coverage of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. He continued to photograph, notably covering civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the war in Afghanistan, returning veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and recently the Ebola crisis in West Africa. On Dec. 11, during his second trip to cover the crisis, du Cille collapsed while hiking back from a small Liberian village where he was working. He died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 58.
Camille Lepage (1988-2014)
The body of French photojournalist Camille Lepage, who was 26, was discovered by French peacekeeping troops in a car being driven by Christian anti-balaka militiamen in the Bouar region of the Central African Republic on May 13. The manner of her death is still uncertain. Lepage, a deeply committed photojournalist, had been covering the escalating violence in C.A.R. for several months. “When she arrived at the end of 2013, it wasn’t covered at all. Nobody was talking about C.A.R.,” photojournalist William Daniels, who worked in the region with Lepage, told TIME. “She was very interested in these types of places where the people were completely forgotten, undercovered, and where hopefully working as a photographer could make a difference.” She had previously been based in Juba, South Sudan and had dedicated herself to photographing those she felt were marginalized and overlooked. “She has put a bit of light on what the people in South-Sudan and C.A.R. have experienced,” Lepage’s brother Adrien wrote to TIME. “If one day those two countries live in peace, we will think about her, imagining her, somewhere, with a little smile.”
David Armstrong (1954-2014)
Photographer David Armstrong lived and breathed creativity, and was known for his boundless intellect and wit. “Having breakfast with him was a hoot,” photographer Nan Goldin told TIME about her life long friend, who died on Oct. 26. “He was very funny. He showed me that a sense of humor was a way to survive.” Armstrong, along with Ms. Goldin, was a core member of the Boston School; the two met in the 1960s when they were in high school in Cambridge, Mass., and became intertwined both in life and in art. Armstrong became known for his intimate, beautifully lit portraits of young men, friends and lovers both, that carried with them added poignancy as many of his subjects succumbed to drugs and the AIDS epidemic. His use of natural light was distinctive and painterly; it seemed to articulate the heart of a man who many said was of another era. “When he focused on a new person it was as if he’d shined a bright light on them. ” Ms. Goldin said, “When he shined that light on me it brought me to life. And I watched him do that with different people all his life.”
Though he himself influenced a whole generation of photographers, Armstrong was equally influenced by and had vast knowledge of other artists, writers, poets and musicians. “David loved the line at the end of the Orson Welles film Touch of Evil, the one where Marlene Dietrich said, ‘he was some kind of a man…what does it matter what you say about people,’” filmmaker James Oakley, a close friend wrote to TIME. “I think this holds true here because David was some kind of a man.” He was a voracious reader and a masterful editor of his own work. His monographs, notably The Silver Cord, where he weaves together portraits with blurred landscapes he called ‘fuzzy wuzzies’, read more like literature than photo books.
In the late 90s, Armstrong began to work in fashion, but remained devoted to his personal practice, continuing to push boundaries with his representations of gender. His work has been shown in many exhibitions including the 1995 Whitney Biennial. His final show at the Casa de Costa gallery in New York was titled The Dark Parade, taken from an Emily Dickinson poem, and featured delicate, sculptural assemblages of personal artifacts he had collected through his life, which were in some sense portraits in their own right. When asked how she thought he would like to be remembered, Ms. Goldin said, “As a gorgeous flaneur, and as an artist. In every sense of the word.”
Arthur Leipzig (1918-2014)
Early on in his education as a photographer, Arthur Leipzig eschewed the more formal, lit portrait and opted to work in the streets of New York. Leipzig, a first generation New Yorker and high school drop out, came under the tutelage of Sid Grossman and the Photo League in 1941 where he was encouraged to develop a documentary practice. His first photo essay of children at play was inspired by a Renaissance painting by Breugel the Elder titled ‘Children’s Games’; Leipzig was struck by how similar the games in the painting were to what he saw on the city streets. He went on to work for the New York evening paper PM and International News Photos, eventually becoming a freelancer and traveling widely for several publications including the Times. “Arthur had great courage as a photographer,” gallerist Howard Greenberg told TIME. “He took on work and assignments that I think, in his quiet and determined way, displayed the tenacity, focus, and concentration required to make good photographs. He wasn’t afraid to challenge himself. And that’s a great lesson in life.”
Leipzig’s work was selected by Edward Steichen for both the ‘New Faces’ (1946) and ‘Family of Man’ (1955) shows at the MoMA, and his work is part of the permanent collections of the MoMA, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, has been exhibited in numerous solo shows, and published in several books. Liepzig died at his home in Sea Cliff, N.Y., at the age of 96 on Dec. 5.
Rebecca Lepkoff (1916-2014)
Rebecca Lepkoff’s trajectory as a photographer had similar beginnings to Leipzig’s but took a very different course. Also a first generation New Yorker, Lepkoff was born to Russian immigrants in a tenement on Hester Street in the Lower East Side. She began her education as a dancer, taking classes with the famed Martha Graham. Eventually she used her earnings from performing at the 1939 New York World’s Fair to buy her first camera, a Voigtlander, and immediately took the the streets. “The thing about Rebecca that always stuck with me was that she was trained early on as a dancer,” Greenberg told TIME. “That sort of feel for rhythm and movement and timing infuses her work, in her own way. [Lepkoff’s] work is a very poetic vision of the street. It’s kinetic, it’s alive.” She found a vitality in the neighborhoods she had grown up in, from the push cart vendors, to the men and women bustling to and from work. Like Leipzig, she was also drawn to photographing children and had a special proclivity for capturing their inner lives. Lepkoff studied at the Photo League starting in 1945, and continued to work as she became a wife and mother, often staying up late to make prints after her children had fallen asleep. “She was so punk,” said photographer Cheryl Dunn, who included Lepkoff in her documentary Everybody Street. “The stories that she told me, the things that she did in the 1930s, 40s, or 50s, where she’d go to a neighborhood to shoot the streets. She seemed to defy what her generation of women did at every stage of her life, in a way.” Lepkoff’s work has been shown at and collected by several museums, and published in several books including Life on the Lower East Side: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff 1937-1950. She died two weeks after her 98th birthday on Aug. 17 at her home in Vermont.
Ray K. Metzker (1931-2014)
Modernist photographer Ray K. Metzker worked at the very edges of black-and-white photography, deploying the deepest blacks and brightest whites, dream-like repetition, and often constructing beautiful and bewildering composite images. Metzker studied under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at Institute of Design in Chicago from 1956 to 1959, creating a series on Chicago’s city streets. The work caught the eye of Edward Steichen, the curator of photography at MoMA. Steichen bought 10 prints from Metzker, and exhibited his work at the museum that same year. Metzker began his Composites series in the mid-1960s. Though his images were often bold and graphic, the symbols and shapes in them never dissolve into themselves; rather, they unfolded for the viewer with deeper metaphysical meaning. During his career, Metzker would have more than 50 solo shows, win two Guggenheim fellowships, publish several books, and have his work in the permanent collections of more than 45 museums. He died at the age of 83 on Oct. 9 in Philadelphia.
Lucien Clergue (1934-2014)
Rencontres d’Arles festival founder and photographer Lucien Clergue died at the age of 80 on Nov. 15. Clergue began his life modestly, dropping out of school to work as a clerk in the food distribution industry after the death of his mother when he was 18. She had given Clergue a camera several years earlier and as he worked, he found time to assemble a series of images of post-war ruins and animals drowned by the Rhone river. He was long an admirer of Picasso and in 1953 at the age of 19, he approached the artist outside of a bullfight in Arles, presenting him with a stack of prints. The meeting was fortuitous and over time the two became friends and collaborators. Picasso encouraged his artistic development and introduced him to Jean Cocteau, with whom he would also collaborate. Clergue photographed both artists, as well as local gypsies, but became best known for his nudes. His work would go on to be shown in many exhibitions, including one curated by Edward Steichen at MoMA, collected by several museums, and published in numerous monographs. In 1968 he co-founded the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival with writer Michel Tournier. The festival continues to this day.
Lewis Baltz (1945-2014)
“You don’t know whether they’re manufacturing pantyhose or megadeath,” Lewis Baltz wrote of his characteristically stark, monochromatic images of factories in Southern California in a 1992 exhibition catalogue. One of the most prominent members of the New Topographics movement, Baltz’s seemingly dispassionate, minimalist images of empty suburban landscapes in the 1960s and 70s blurred the line between fine art and documentary photography. Though people rarely appear in his photographs, their influence is clear; the encroachment of concrete and strip malls across the California terrain was indicative of a deeper existential crisis. Baltz created his works in repetitive series, preferring the effect of the many to the singling out of the one. In the 1980s he moved to Europe, beginning to work in color and presciently turning his focus to the creeping invasion of surveillance and technology. His work has been collected by several museums including the Guggenheim, LACMA, SF MoMA and Tate Modern, shown in numerous galleries, and published in several books. He died at the age of 69 on Nov. 22 in Paris.
Michael Schmidt (1945-2014)
German photographer Michael Schmidt became known as a master of narrative. Born on the East side of Berlin, Schmidt moved with his family to the West shortly before the wall went up. The psychological effects of the construction and later tearing down of the wall became a central theme in his work, which he rendered in shades of grey, preferring the darkest and lightest greys to true black-and-white. Schmidt would devote several years to a project, photographing prolifically and then editing meticulously. His seminal work Waffenruhe, which was published as a book and exhibited as a solo show at MoMA in New York, is an atmospheric assemblage of cold, nearly alien details from the urban landscape paired with menacing portraits of young punks in Berlin. He founded Werkstatt für Fotografie (Workshop for Photography) in 1976 which is credited with bringing some of the most influential American photographers of the day to Berlin. Shortly before his death on May 24, he was awarded the Prix Pictet for his project “Lebensmittel” (Food), an exhaustive documentation of the food industry comprised of 177 images made over a period of six years.
Alfred Wertheimer (1929-2014)
In 1956, Alfred Wertheimer‘s life changed forever as he crossed paths with 21-year-old Elvis Presley. RCA assigned Wertheimer to make publicity shots of Presley, still an unknown artist at the time. Wertheimer, a holocaust survivor who had fled with his family from Germany to Brooklyn, traveled to Memphis where he would spend around 10 days over several months photographing the young star canoodling with fans backstage, shirtless at home, traveling on trains, walking city streets alone at night, and recording ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Don’t Be Cruel’. He captured the moment before fame rushed in, and an unguarded side of Presley that would cease to exist as manager Colonel Tom Parker gained increasing control over the singer’s career. Decades later, Wertheimer would go on to show the work at the National Portrait Gallery and Grammy museums among others, as well as to publish several books of the work. Wertheimer died at the age of 85 on Oct. 21 at his home in New York.
David Redfern (1936-2014)
Music photographer David Redfern died on Oct. 22 at the age of 78 after a career that spanned over half a century and across the globe. Born in Derbyshire, Redfern’s career began when he moved to London in the late 1950s and began photographing jazz clubs. An avid jazz fan and early adopter of color film, Redfern quickly distinguished himself and began building an oeuvre of classic images of Kenny Ball, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Nina Simone, and Miles Davis. By the late 1960s he was traveling internationally covering jazz, soul and rock festivals and adding to his collection shots of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zepplin. In 1980 he became the official photographer for Frank Sinatra at the singer’s request. He later founded the Redferns Music Picture Library, an archive of the thousands of images he had made throughout his career. He sold the archive to Getty Images in 2008, maintaining the right to 1,000 of his favorite images. His work has appeared in books, on posters, on U.S. postage stamps, and most recently tacked up on a wall in the movie Whiplash.
Bunny Yeager (1929-2014)
Bunny Yeager shot to fame as a photographer after she booked her first shoot with Bettie Page in 1954. Yeager, who herself began as a model, had Page pose in her studio hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree and wearing nothing but a Santa hat and a wink; she sold the image to Playboy for $100, catapulting herself and Page into the mainstream. Yeager went on to shoot several centerfolds for Playboy and had her work published in a slew of post-war men’s magazines, establishing herself as one of the pre-eminent pin up photographers of her time. She is credited with making the iconic image of Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in a white bikini on the set of the 1962 James Bond film ‘Dr. No’. Her images posses a depth that was perhaps rare in her field; her subjects appear at once seductive, vulnerable, playful and exquisitely powerful. Yeager reveled in finding and creating beauty, writing at length on her process in several books. Yeager also became known for her self-portraits, shot pin-up style. In them, she appears in all different locales, sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette, always in costumes that she made herself. The work, in its quality, transcends the genre she helped popularize, and is said to have influenced Cindy Sherman’s own self-portraits. Yeager died at the age of 85 on May 25.
Don Halasy (1940-2014)
Photographer Don Halasy died on Nov. 11. Halasy worked for the New York Post for 24 years, notably capturing Gorbachev’s visit to Governor’s island in 1987, the infamous gangster John Gotti, and the 9/11 attacks where he was trapped under a pile of debris. After digging himself out of the rubble, Halasy realized his camera with shots of the first tower going down were still buried and he dug back in to salvage it. In a CBS report on the attacks, Halasy emotionally recalled his experiences that day saying, “Of course everybody’s running away from it, and I’m a press photographer, I’m running toward it.”
Tom Self (1933-2014)
Birmingham News photographer Tom Self was one of the first to arrive on the scene of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1963. It was a pivotal moment in a career that would come to be defined by the civil rights movement, which Self went on to cover for the paper with a team of 11 photographers. He often wore a hard hat to document protests as tensions rose in the South. “You couldn’t shoot that stuff back here (in the distance),” Self told AL.com in 2013. “You had to be right in there with them.” He worked for the paper for 46 years, as both a senior photographer and photo editor, and mentor to many. He died at the age of 81 on Nov. 26.
Le Minh Thai (1921-2014)
Vietnam war photographer Le Minh Thai died at the age of 93 on Oct. 25 in Encinitas, Calif. Thai, who covered the war for AP and TIME, had strong contacts in the military and government, and became a valuable resource for foreign journalists covering the conflict. “He was the best known Vietnamese news photographer at that time, and was in demand by the small foreign press corps when they needed pictures,” former AP Vietnam correspondent Peter Arnett told TIME. In 1963, he helped TIME set up its Saigon bureau and then worked for months in 1975 to help TIME & LIFE’s staff evacuate. He eventually came to Los Angeles where he continued to work for the magazine, as well as running a side-business photographing Vietnamese refugees.
Henri Bureau (1940-2014)
Sygma co-founder Henri Bureau, known as ‘Nounours’ (Teddy) to his friends, began his career in the 1960s chronicling the luminaries of French culture and politics. Ten days after being hired by French agency Reporters Associes in 1966, he was sent to cover the war in Vietnam, launching a storied career in photojournalism. Over the next several decades he went on to cover some of the most harrowing conflicts and tragedies around the world, including the Six Day war, the Iran/Iraq war, widespread famine and cholera in Asia, and civil unrest in Northern Ireland, Portugal, and France during the May 1968 protests. He was tenacious in his coverage and brought that spirit with him when he co-founded Sygma in 1973, after working as a staff reporter at Gamma for several years. He later returned to Gamma as an editor, and then became director of Roger-Viollet from 1995 to 2005. He was the recipient of two World Press Photo awards for spot news, and published two books of his work. He died at the age of 74 on May 20.
Andy Rocchelli (1983-2014)
Italian photojournalist and Cesura Lab co-founder Andy Rocchelli died on May 25 while covering the revolution in Ukraine when a car he was traveling in with two other journalists and an interpreter near Slovyansk was hit by mortar shells. He was 33. Rocchelli had covered the Euromaidan protests in February, and was continuing his work documenting the revolution. A photo he made shortly before his death of children hiding in a bunker Slovyansk had received wide acclaim. Rocchelli had covered conflict and human rights violations in regions of the Caucasus and Kyrgyzstan, the Arab Spring in Libya, and the Libyan-Tunisian border. A book of his work titled Russian Interiors was crowdfunded and published by Cesura posthumously.
Kerim Okten (1972-2014)
Acclaimed EPA photographer Kerim Okten died in a motorcycle accident reportedly caused by lightning on April 10. Okten, whose work had been published in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Guardian, and on the Aug. 22, 2011 cover of TIME, began his career as a freelancer for national papers in Turkey before joining EPA in 1998. He left his position as chief photographer for EPA in Turkey to become the agency’s chief photographer in the UK in 2012, then returned to Turkey in December 2013. He was the chair of the sports category for this year’s World Press Photo.
Will Seberger (1981-2014)
Tucson photojournalist Will Seberger died unexpectedly at his home on Aug. 17 at the age of 33. Seberger was a freelancer focused on border policy, drug smuggling, local politics, and human rights. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, Mother Jones and Sports Illustrated.
Mia Tramz is a Multimedia Editor for TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @miatramz.