Renée C. Byer
Renée C. Byer
In 2007 Byer won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for "A Mother’s Journey". The
piece followed Cyndie French and her ten year old son Derek Madsen as he battled and
eventually succumbed to cancer over the course of a year. Intimately relating both the
cataclysmic and mundane moments of daily struggle, Byers created a penetrating portrait of
a family in the most heartbreaking situation. In testament to the universality of its themes,
"A Mother’s Journey" was internationally awarded numerous honors.
Prior to this, Byer had won the World Hunger’s Harry Chapin Media Award for
Photojournalism as well as first place for a Nature and Environment Picture Story by
the National Press Photographers Association for Seeds of Doubt. In it she tackled the
biotechnology debate on a global scale capturing images from across continents. Her
chronicle of women at all stages in the U.S. military and the obstacles they faced, "Women at
War", earned her the McClatchy President’s Award.
However, these are only a few of Byer’s notable accomplishments. Her work can be seen
in publications such as (but not limited to) Newsweek Asia, People, Business Week, Marie
Clare, and El Mundo. She has exhibited in, lectured at, and taught in conjunction with a
myriad of prestigious institutions worldwide.
Byer is a senior photojournalist at the Sacramento Bee. She is currently working on Living
on "A Dollar a Day" a book to be published for The Forgotten International. In it she attempts
draw attention to the epidemic of abject poverty endured by so many, despite submitting to
extreme labor conditions.