Brian Lanker was a judge in the 2008 Q4 Contest
(August 31, 1947 - March 13, 2011) -
Brian Lanker has won numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for his feature photography. He was named National Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1970 and again in 1976. His work for LIFE Magazine and Sports Illustrated has received numerous honors around the world. He presently divides his time between editorial/advertising still photography and motion picture writing and directing.
Born August 31, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan, Lanker grew up in Phoenix, Arizona where he attended schools including Phoenix College. The son of a newspaper feature writer, he became interested in photography in high school and by college, was working at the Phoenix Gazette at the age of eighteen. He joined the staff of the Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal in 1970 as a staff photographer. He became director of photography at the Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard in 1975 where he organized a highly acclaimed photographic report. He left the newspaper in 1982, subsequently becoming a contributing photographer to Sports Illustrated and LIFE magazines. Soon thereafter, he expanded his career to advertising photography. He continues today photographing National and International advertising campaigns.
In February 1989, Mr. Lanker’s exhibition of photographs entitled, “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America”, opened at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. This two-year-long project was a dream of Lanker’s, that these special women of American History would not be forgotten. Concurrently with the exhibition, a book of the same title (“I Dream a World”) was published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang of New York City. The response by the press and public has been overwhelming. The exhibition has set records for attendance at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and many other museums throughout the country. The original two year national exhibition quickly blossomed into a six-year international tour. Attendance of this museum tour is placed at well over one million viewers. The accompanying book was in a second printing before the first printing had reached bookstores. Currently it is in its fourteenth printing with total sales well over 400,000 copies, making it one of the most successful photographic books ever.
Perhaps one of Lanker’s greatest honors was when he was chosen as one of eight photographers to be included in a series of audio visual educational programs entitled “Images of Man”. Lanker, along with W. Eugene Smith, Henry Cartier Bresson and Elliott Porter were featured individual programs in that series.
He directed his first documentary film, They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of WWII in 1999. It aired prime time on PBS and was nominated for the International Documentary Awards.
Lanker, now sixty-one years old, lives with his wife Lynda, herself a nationally known artist.