Cliff Etzel - Photographer, storyteller, humanitarian

Cliff Etzel - Photographer

"Slow Down & Understand The World Around You" is the foundation of the work I produce as a photojournalist, photographer, storyteller & humanitarian.

My career as a photojournalist began in the newspaper world back in 1987 – when shooting with film was the defacto standard, where one photo of the decisive moment was supposed to capture it all. Although compelling at times, I wasn’t satisfied with the single still image, and found documentary photography projects for publication as a better medium to illustrate stories more in depth in print form.

By late 2006, with the internet in full swing, I was ready to do more with telling stories visually. I felt that I wanted to tell a more compelling story, and I wanted it in the voice of the people the stories were about, so I bought a microphone and digital recorder, taught myself audio editing, and brought the sound of the story to life. For me it brought intensity and purpose in documenting my subjects in a way that told their stories with dignity and brought meaning to the subjects being documented.

What I create

I cover specific issues that I feel passionate about: documentary storytelling, slice of life, day in the life of and other topics that can bring about a positive change in the world.

Having delved into this brave new world of digital photography & multimedia story telling has opened up my eyes to the creative potential of telling compelling stories, leveraging traditional print as well as new technologies and publishing platforms to tell those stories. I’m immersed in these emerging, and converging, forms of communication, all of which can be brought to their fullest potential for your project. I shoot stills, video, record audio and utilize text and other interactive forms of imparting information. Most of all, what I bring to your project is compassion, sensitivity and experience as a photographer and storyteller who understands, and still works in, the field.

When we are done, what you will have is a story. Your story.

Read what others have said about the quality of my work here

Past Accomplishments & Awards

  • 1992:  1 of 100 out of 847 applicants accepted to the Eddie Adams Workshop attending as a member of the “Green Team”. While there, I was 1 of 15 special merit award winners for my work while attending the workshop. This award resulted in the publication of a photo documentary project I had shot over the course of 18 months.
  •  1993:  Society of Professional Journalists (Willamette Valley Chapter) – 1st place Photo Page, Third place each for Feature Photos and Sports Photography
  • 1994:  Society of Professional Journalists (Willamette Valley Chapter):  2nd place – Best feature photo.