Paula Lerner, an award winning photojournalist and multimedia producer, died of cancer on March 6, 2012.
Born in 1959, Paula grew up in Hudson, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard University. In 1983, she began her career as a freelance photojournalist. She joined ASMP in February 1989 and was an active participant in the New England chapter. She was also a leader in Editorial Photographers and a member of the National Press Photographers Association.
Much of her work focused on issues faced by women and girls. Her essay, “A Widow on Welfare: An Untold Story,” won first place in the 55th Pictures of the Year competition. She made five trips to Afghanistan, documenting the lives of women in Kandahar, as a volunteer for Bpeace, a nonprofit group of business professionals who help entrepreneurs in war-torn countries. In 2009, the Boston Globe and Mail published a multimedia series, Behind the Veil, about the lives of women in Afghanistan. The series won an Emmy award in October 2010.
She also worked with students and young photojournalists, discussing business issues that are rarely mentioned in school. In 2002, she wrote An open letter to students contemplating photojournalism in The Digital Journalist. ASMP interviewed her for the Strictly Business 2 movies.
There will be a memorial service on Friday, March 9, 2012, at 10 a.m. at Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA, 02478. In lieu of flowers, Paula requested that donations be made to the Bpeace or to METAvivor, a research, support and awareness group for families and patients with metastatic breast cancer.
PDN, “Obituary: Photographer Paula Lerner, Leader of Photo Advocacy Group”
NPPA, “Boston Photojournalist Paula Lerner, 52”