New Canon Ambassadors 2020
The contingent of new female Ambassadors includes Norwegian fashion photographer Julie Pike and German/Russian documentary photographer Nanna Heitmann, winner of the Ian Parry Scholarship in 2019. British-Egyptian photographer Laura El-Tantawy and Russian photographer Ksenia Kuleshova, both of whom have been recognised by the 2020 W. Eugene Smith Fund, also join the programme.
African representation on the programme is bolstered by the arrival of photographers including Yagazie Emezi from Nigeria, who was the first black African woman to photograph for National Geographic magazine, and Clement Kiragu, whose photography focuses on the spectacular wildlife and beautiful landscapes of his home country of Kenya.
The number of young photographers has also grown significantly. They include Belgian nature photographer Michel d'Oultremont, twice winner of the Rising Star award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and UK sports photographer and recent photography graduate Molly Darlington.
"Nurturing new talent and working with young people is a big part of Canon's sustainability goals," says Susie. "The fact that we've increased the number of Ambassadors aged under 30 from two to 17 is fantastic."
Photojournalist Brent Stirton, who has been a Canon Ambassador since 2008, speaks highly of the programme and praises the work Canon is doing with younger photographers. "[Being an Ambassador] has been a privilege from day one. Not only have I had great gear to work with, I've had back-up that really mattered. Canon even sent new cameras to the Namibian/Angolan border for me after I was robbed of my gear – I had them within 24 hours.
"The best thing Canon's doing now is offering hundreds of students from all over the world workshops I could only have dreamt of when I was their age. These workshops are with photographers and editors of the highest quality. It's one thing to talk about investing in young photographers, it's another to put your money where your mouth is."
A diverse array of genres are represented among the Canon Ambassadors, with other new Ambassadors including German conservation photographer Robert Marc Lehmann, the National Geographic Photographer of the Year 2015, and Irish photojournalist Finbarr O'Reilly, winner of World Press Photo awards in 2006 and 2019 and a Canon user for over 15 years. Finbarr says: "I'm honoured to join the Canon Ambassador programme at a time when photojournalism is grappling with a number of challenges.
"I've recently been working with Canon on collaborative projects, including this year's Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition, to showcase the work of African photographers and to promote greater diversity and broader representation across the industry. I look forward to continuing this kind of collaborative and educational work as a Canon Ambassador."
Another new Ambassador, Lucia Griggi, is an expedition, wildlife and travel photographer. "Being accepted onto the Canon Ambassador Programme has given me an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and contentment," she says.
"There are so many talented photographers out there and I feel very privileged to have been chosen. I look forward to expressing my creative vision with the support of the world's leading camera brand."
To find out more about all of the Canon Ambassadors, visit our Canon Ambassadors web page.