COMMUNITY Newspaper Group’s celebrated photographer Jon Hewson was crowned among the country’s finest last Friday as three of his images received national accolades.
At the 2016 Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association (PANPA) Newspaper of the Year awards – held in Sydney and considered the print newspaper industry’s premier event – Hewson claimed the Community portrait category with his stunning image entitled Smoking Actor.
On the same night, at the Community Newspapers of Australia (southern division) annual awards in Melbourne, Hewson won Best News Photograph and Best Sports Photograph.
Western Suburbs Weekly was named Best Newspaper at the CNAs for the fifth-year running and LookLocalWA.com.au collected a gong at PANPAs Advertising and Marketing Awards for Trade Campaign of the Year.
Colleague Andrew Ritchie was awarded Highly Commended for two images at PANPA.
He also had two of the three finalist images in the remaining CNA photography category, Best Portrait, as well as being a runner-up in the sports category won by Jon.
Smoking Actor was a profile of Fremantle stage actor James Hagan, a man Hewson described as a real character and a pleasure to photograph for the Fremantle Gazette.
“I darkened up the house and closed the blinds to make it really moody,” Hewson said.
“He was smoking so I asked him to light up his pipe as I got to know him and hear about his career. For the photo, we moved over to the window for some light and I got him to puff up his pipe for the smoke effect.”
Hewson’s CNA winners were a photograph of an electrical storm over Serpentine Bridge and a sports image of Secret Harbour golfer Jessica Whitting.
Hewson, who is known to be a bit of a storm-chaser in his spare time, said he set up dangerously close to the bridge during a big storm.
“I was only 100m to 150m away,” he said.
“It started some fires, in fact the next day we were out covering one of the fires.”
The photo of Whitting has won Hewson accolades before – including a PANPA last year.