From the jungles of Vietnam, where he shot a photo of “the loneliness and desolation of war” that won a Pulitzer Prize, to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, David Hume Kennerly witnessed and photographed most of the history-making moments of the last third of the twentieth century. As the millennium turned and he set out to cover his eighth presidential campaign, however, the veteran photojournalist sensed something missing. In his words, “I had the uneasy feeling that I couldn’t focus only on the story at hand while bypassing the texture of life that surrounds it…. This time I wouldn’t speed across that covered bridge to get to the big event on the other side, but instead I would slow down a bit, maybe even pause to take a picture of the bridge.”
Photo du Jour is Kennerly’s visual diary of “the texture of life” at the start of the twenty-first century. As he traveled more than a quarter of a million miles across thirty-eight states and seven countries, Kennerly took a picture every single day in the year 2000, using just one camera and one lens. Some offer candid, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the men who would be presidentóJohn McCain, Al Gore, and George W. Bush. Most of the photographs, though, seek to capture not the big, historic moments but rather the ordinary, even whimsical moments when the essence of a person or a place reveals itself to the observer who takes the time and has the heart to really see. Travel with him from Beijing to Boston, Moose to Miami, and Whynot to Weimea in Photo du Jour, and you’ll quickly discover that David Kennerly is just such an observer.
David Hume Kennerly has won numerous awards in addition to the Pulitzer. A selection of Photo du Jour images received five prizes in the 2001 White House Press Photographer’s contest, including a first prize for best 2000 campaign coverage. Kennerly was also included in the Washingtonian magazine’s end of the century list of the top fifty journalists. In addition to serving as President Gerald R. Ford’s personal photographer, Kennerly has been a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine and a photographer for Time, Life, and George magazines and for United Press International. He was also a contributor to Good Morning America Sunday. Kennerly has published three previous books, Shooter, Photo Op, and Sein Off. He lives in Santa Monica, California.