Horst Faas holding the UK Picture Editors’ Guild Chairman’s Award for his contribution to the industry awarded in 2011. Photo: Piced.net
Horst was an early supporter of Photo Archive News and a major inspiration behind the Press Photo History Project. He called me from his office (at the old central London AP building, Norwich Street) in the summer of 2003. Photo Archive News had been online for a couple of years by then and I was at my day job with a photo press agency nearby… I was standing in his office 20 minutes later.
We then met almost weekly at his office or over lunch where we would talk about the industry and he would suggest small changes to the site, new features and news articles. He steered me into his vast network of colleagues, many of whom have provided the deep knowledge required for the PAN and PPHP websites. His interest in the sites ran in line with a project he had been working on to record the history of the wired photo and wire photo transmission. He handed me a wad of A4 sheets one day and said ‘this is where I have got to’. I believe he intended to write a book on the subject but was already busy with various other projects. One of these was his involvement with the IMMF, Indochina Media Memorial Foundation, which provides practical workshops for aspiring Vietnamese photojournalists. He introduced me to his fellow London based IMMF trustees Sheila Brown and Peter Rimmer who were helping Horst put together an auction of photographs to raise funds for the next workshop – here is part of the catalogue from that auction – I became involved with the auction and joined Horst, Sheila and Peter as a trustee of the IMMF shortly afterwards.
We stayed in touch, mostly via the phone or Skype. On every call we would plan at length another feature for one of the sites, Horst would have to then break off the conversation at the arrival of a carer or his laptop getting too hot on his chest…
Horst lived and breathed photojournalism and always had time, encouragement and enthusiasm for anyone passionate about the subject.
I will miss him.
Horst Faas 28 April 1933 – 10 May 2012 R.I.P.
• October 2012: Horst Faas Memorial Service London – Friends And Colleagues Welcome
• Horst Faas the photojournalist and long time photo operations chief at Associated Press has died aged 79. He was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
Associated Press announcement: Horst Faas, AP combat photographer, dies at 79