WTVF's Catherine Steward wins NPPA Regional Photographer of the Year

It has been a big year for Catherine Steward, photojournalist at WTVF. Catherine was just named Photographer of the Year for the Central Top Region by the National Press Photographers Association. This news comes on the heels of Catherine winning two regional Emmy Awards including one for her camera composite entry. And on Tuesday, April 19, Catherine received news that she is the winner of a regional Murrow Award for her video work.  

"Catherine has a great eye for composition and a sensitive ear for sound," said Mike Rose, chief photographer for WTVF. "On her level, that is a given. What makes Catherine's work rise to the top is her ability to anticipate and capture compelling moments. 

"In the edit bay, Catherine gives those moments just the right treatment, often placing them after a sequential build up or parking them between a voice over track. Her timelines look like linear art and she is always looking for the next 'back pocket' story to produce."  

WTVF-NewsChannel 5 has been named NPPA Regional Station of the Year several times, and is currently a finalist for National Station of the Year. Lyn Plantinga, general manager of WTVF, says the station’s reputation for good storytelling helps in recruiting, not only for photojournalists, but also for reporters and producers. “At the end of the day, we don’t do our work for awards or accolades. We do it for our viewers and our community. But it is very satisfying when our team - and a talented photojournalist like Catherine - are recognized by their peers.”

Catherine is a native of Palmer, Alaska and worked at KTUU in Anchorage before moving to Nashville. She often collaborates with Jason Lamb, reporter at WTVF (also from KTUU), on the big stories. Catherine and Jason epitomize team work in action. They are constantly developing stories, rewriting a line or changing an edit. Their collaboration efforts are such an example that the NPPA has asked both Jason and Catherine to be guest speakers at the NPPA Southeast Storytelling workshop in Atlanta on June 10 and 11. 

Catherine describes what motivates her: "My main goal in telling stories is to make people feel something. Whatever emotion or tone I sense in the field, I try to do what I can when I'm shooting and editing to bring that sense to the viewers so they can have an honest feel for what it's like to be there. If I can make someone feel something through somebody else's moments -- that's a good day".   

Check out some of Catherine's award winning work: