2022 Lucie Award Honoree / Achievement in Photojournalism

Michelle V. Agins has been a staff photographer at The New York Times since June 1989 and is the company’s second Black female staff photographer.

She began her career in the 1970s in her hometown of Chicago as a photography intern for The Chicago Daily News, moving on to become a sports photographer there. She taught photography both at Loyola University and the University of Illinois, Chicago. After a brief stint at the South Shore Sentinel Newspaper, she took a job as a photographer and audio-visual specialist for the City of Chicago’s Department of Human Services.

When Harold Washington became Chicago’s first Black mayor in 1983, Michelle became his official photographer, a position she held until 1987 when she joined The Charlotte Observer.

Michelle’s photographs have been widely exhibited and her work has been recognized by many professional organizations. She has two Pulitzer Prize nominations (1990 for the Bensonhurst protests and 1995 for “Another America: Life on 129th Street”). In 2001, she was part of The Times team that won the Pulitzer for the series “How Race Is Lived In America.”

Michelle has been awarded an honorary degree from Dominican University, from which she graduated. And in 2019, she was awarded the National Press Photographers Association’s highest honor, the Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award, for her “commitment to the craft of visual journalism and to education that advances the profession.”