Photographer Julie Oliver took the Feature Photo category for a series of images illustrating the story of “butterfly child” Jonathan Pitre, a teenager who suffers from one of the most painful conditions known, epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare genetic disease that causes the skin to blister, shear and scar. Oliver’s pictures captured the joy and pain of a young man’s courage.
“It was just a privilege to tell Jonathan’s story and to get to know him and his mom,” Oliver said after receiving the award.
“Julie’s photos, which tell the story of a day in the life of Jonathan Pitre, make up one of the most powerful photo essays I have ever seen,” said Citizen Editor Andrew Potter. “She shows Jonathan’s pain and struggle, but also the tenderness and even joy he shares with his mom as he strives to live as normal a life as possible.”