I can’t think of a better compliment to lead this post with than what Facebook reader Heather Cooper wrote on our page Friday: “Larry Steagall is boss.”
Most readers already knew this from looking at the photographer’s work over the past two decades. Larry’s often honored with awards for his shots — he and Meegan M. Reid dominated the National Press Photographer’s Association monthly contests this year — but he’s also a little shy and fairly humble about it.
The Thursday before Christmas we had a little Christmas potluck in the newsroom, and used the event as a ruse to get the notoriously shy photographer some attention. Larry had been awarded the best photo of 2011 by the International Association of Fire Fighters, for a shot from a 2010 fire in Manette (in my neighborhood, no less, which means I actually watched him work that night). And naturally, the guys down at Bremerton Fire knew he wouldn’t show up if they scheduled some kind of ceremony.
Late-night fires are Larry’s specialty (the guy sleeps next to a scanner), and the Sun’s coverage of fires is unrivaled by any news agency that doesn’t have a helicopter, as far as I’m concerned. So we found a way to celebrate the fact that one of his photos from that night is now on the cover of a 2012 IAFF calendar, and the $500 check that comes with the honor. Surprise!
Best of all, Larry finally had to accept an award in front of his peers and get cheered. And here I am letting you in on it, so everyone knows.
Below is a video that reporter Amy Phan took during our little
presentation. Larry even cuts the bashful act a bit. Congrats