Shaun Best, a Guild member who worked as a photographer for Thomson Reuters in Montreal died suddenly Sunday while returning home from covering the Grand Prix. He was 43 years old.
Shaun joined Reuters staff in Montreal in 2001, having worked as a freelancer before that. He rushed to New York City to help cover the 9/11 attacks and produced pictures of the aftermath at the World Trade Center that truly reflect the horror of what went on.
Click here to view a portfolio of Shaun’s photos posted by Thomson Reuters.
Shaun’s death has shocked his colleagues and the Guild. The terrible news has brought back memories of Tom Hanson, a photojournalist with Canadian Press in Ottawa who died suddenly in 2009 at the age of 41.
The job of photojournalist may look easy, even cushy. After all, they get to cover major sporting events, hang out with the Prime Minister and visiting dignitaries and travel the world. But the stress level is enormous. It is highly competitive, they have mere seconds to get THE shot and they run with 20 kilos of equipment on their shoulders. They put themselves in danger covering wars, earthquakes and forest fires. Many are on the road away from home and family for long periods of time each year. All in all, it is very difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle.
These sudden deaths have spurred the Guild to look more closely at this work and what can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen again.