TIME Top 100 Photos of 2023 showcase Ohio University photojournalism alumni

Published: December 12, 2023 Author: Ken Klein

TIME’s Top 100 Photos of 2023 — a prestigious tribute to documenting global events — features graduates of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication (VisCom):

  • Michael Swensen (BSVC ’21) for Getty Images (an image of former President Donald Trump in East Palestine, Ohio after the toxic-chemical train derailment in February).
  • Drew Angerer (BSVC ’12) of Getty Images (U.S. Congressional hearing on unidentified flying objects).
  • Maddie McGarvey (BSVC ’12) for The New York Times (Donald Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania).

“What has become clear in 2023—a year dominated by the rapid rise of AI (artificial intelligence) imagery—is that photojournalism has become more important than ever,” Katherine Pomerantz, Director of Photography at TIME, wrote in the introduction to the annual feature. “The storytellers who are dedicated to bearing witness to events across the globe in real time are critical in providing lucidity to an otherwise muddled world.”

VisCom Professor Stan Alost said TIME’s recognition of Swensen, Angerer and McGarvey shows that OHIO photojournalism graduates are on the frontlines of history.

“VisCom students and alumni create so much of what this country sees every day from around the world. It gives me goosebumps to see the success of our students and alumni and to know that we are contributing to keeping democracy alive through reporting with real images in an era of disinformation,” said Alost.

Michael Swensen

As a student at Ohio University in 2020, Swensen placed first in the National Photojournalism Championship for the 60th Annual Hearst National Championship, winning a $10,000 scholarship.

He also won a Hearst award for Best Single Photo and placed first in the Photojournalism Picture Story/Series Competition for the 2019-2020 Hearst Journalism Awards Program earlier in the year that qualified him for this competition.

Swensen’s winning portfolio documented Kentucky farm life and the conversion from tobacco to hemp cultivation, a photo project for his college “capstone” class taught by Professor Alost.

Swensen’s photos are viewed worldwide via leading news outlets.

A Pittsburgh native, Swensen is a second-generation Ohio University School of Visual Communication student. His father Jeff Swensen is a freelance photojournalist who completed graduate coursework in OHIO’s Visual Communication program earlier in his career.

Drew Angerer

As a college student, Angerer gained experience as an intern at the Sandusky Register in 2009. Since 2016, Angerer has documented top news stories for Getty Images in the nation’s Capital.

His image included in TIME’s Top 100 Photos of 2023 was from a U.S. Congressional hearing convened July 26 on unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

Angerer and colleagues at Getty Images won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography “for comprehensive and consistently riveting photos of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

Angerer’s iconic photo of guns drawn inside the House of Representatives chamber was published on the cover of TIME Magazine in January 2021.

A screen shot of a tweet showing the cover of TIME magazine following the January 6 attacks on the United States Capitol

Maddie McGarvey

Three days after Angerer photographed the UFO hearing in Washington, D.C., freelancer McGarvey covered a Donald Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania for The New York Times. On August 14, The Times published a McGarvey photo from the Trump rally on its front page, accompaning an article about support for Trump amidst indictments. That image was included in TIME’s Top 100 Photos of 2023.

“Seeing your photos in print never gets old,” McGarvey shared on social media.

Based in Columbus, McGarvey works for top-tier news organizations. In 2015, she was listed among Magnum’s 30 photographers under 30, noting her work on the “Legacy of daughters in rural Southeast Ohio.” 

Screenshot of a tweet from photographer Maddie McGarvey showing a stack of New York Times newspapers with the caption "Seeing your photos in print never gets old"