Stacy L. Pearsall got her start as an Air Force photographer at the age of 17.
During her time in service, she traveled to over 41 countries, and attended the Military Photojournalism Program at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. During three combat tours, she earned the Bronze Star Medal and Air Force Commendation with Valor for combat actions in Iraq. Though combat disabled and retired from military service, Pearsall has not let her disabilities hold her back. With her service animal America’s VetDogs Charlie be her side, she continues to work worldwide as an independent photographer represented by Aurora Photos, and is an author, educator, military consultant, BRAVO748 public speaker and founder of the Veterans Portrait Project. Her work has been exhibited at The Woodruff Arts Center, The Pentagon, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum among numerous other galleries and venues.
Pearsall was one of only two women to win National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Military Photographer of the Year competition, and the only woman to have earned it twice. She’s been awarded the Hill Vets 100, honored with the Daughters of the American Revolution Margaret Cochran Corbin Award, lauded by the White House as a Champion of Change, and holds an honorary doctoral degree from The Citadel. Pearsall has served as a nominating juror for the Pulitzer Prize and held a presidential-appointed board member position for the NPPA.
The PDN “Personal Project” award-winning series Veterans Portrait Project (VPP) began in 2008 while Pearsall rehabilitated from combat injuries sustained in Iraq. Spending hours in VA waiting rooms surrounded by veterans from every generation and branch of service, she was compelled to honor and thank them in the only way she knows how, photography. She’s traveled coast to coast with the VPP and has documented roughly 6,500 veterans in over 125+ engagements.
I try not to let my physical disabilities get in the way of achieving my photographic goals, but carrying the weight of my camera gear on my neck all day definitely creates a challenge. That’s why I turned to Spider Holster.
Instead of supporting the weight with my neck and shoulders, I’m using my lower body strength. It reduces my neck pain while simultaneously providing more stability as the weight of my gear is placed at my center of gravity.
Between her photography, teaching and speaking engagements, Pearsall completed her first photography book, Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera, which received worldwide praise as “A book of the highest levels in the annals of combat journalism.” And her second book, A Photojournalist’s Field Guide: In the Trenches with Combat Photographer Stacy Pearsall, is “A must have for every aspiring photographer out there, and even pros can pick up a few new tricks to help them become better photographers.”