What the Photojournalists are Saying

From Maggie Steber With this book, f16, on the lives of women, Kendall Hunter is embarking on one of the most important journeys that women take in their lives.  Who influences us, provokes us, inspires us, moves us is often a surprise, in the way that we are moved by these people, and how deeply that influence goes.  In talking with Kendall about these ideas, it is less an interview and more of exploratory surgery aimed at getting to the heart of the matter……she approaches it in a very delicate manner, that of conversation, that of peeling away layers of who we are and what we think. What women think and what makes them react is essential in today’s global world.  Our lives are touched by woman around the world and knowing what we share in common and what we can learn from one another matters greatly because women are the ones who make the world move, and grow.  In some cultures, without women, nothing would get done.  They are the economic stalwarts and the collective conscious of their nations.  In Western societies and cultures, what women think, our actions, our opinions shape whole nations, even if it is not always recognized. So, a book that explores how we think, what we think and how we are moved in the most intimate inward ways is a book worth writing and worth reading.



From Andrea Bruce There are few who can tell the story of female photojournalists and the people we try to empower. With Kendall’s background and knowledge, she can give a beautifully intimate view of the women we have the honor of introducing to the rest of the world through images….images that exist through the sacrifice and bravery of all involved. As a narrator, she haa an understanding of this profession and what we are attempting to achieve through photojournalism. And few books have been able to give a window into our unique lives and profession with respect and honesty towards all involved.



From Agnes Dherbeys I must admit the first time Kendall ever approached me about her project about a book on women photographers, I was not convinced at all. Months later, by reintroducing the book idea with this intimate, unique and certainly honest and humble new narrative on the project, the question to be part of it was simply not a question any more. I trust and respect Kendall’s quest and admire the courage to make herself vulnerable in order to actually make sense of one’s existence. I admire  how it’s revealed through us — women photojournalists, and to readers through the window and grid of Kendall’s personal life and her true passion for this demanding profession. Again, I share the conviction that the more personal the story is, the more iniversal it is — even when it’s about people worlds away. I have no doubt this book will not only be a unique document for photography but also and perahps firstly, that it will be a brave inspiration for the quest of oneself.


From Diana Markosian “This book will undoubtedly serve as a testament to the devotion and personal sacrifice made by female photographers. I have deep admiration and respect for Kendall’s commitment to explore this topic in-depth. These stories will hopefully resonate in a very real and powerful way, bringing further understanding to the reality of being a female photographer.”


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Done With It.

I feel the need to write today, I haven’t been creative, at all, during the pandemic and, today, I’m feeling the need to be grounded. It may be a little rough, but it is what it is. It’s July 9th.

I’m sitting on the sofa next to my 15-year-old Jack Russel and King Charles Spaniel cross ‘pup’. Shall we call him ‘King Jack’? His name is actually Pepé. He was born in France, lived with us in Switzerland for four years, then in Banff for another four years and, finally, Toronto for six and a half years. He’s put up with a lot and he’s given us a lot. We’ve begun the conversation about the right time to put him down — quality of life and all that gut-wrenching stuff. I’m thinking I should probably write about that, about him…

So that I can sit next to Pepé, I pull a book from the shelf to support my computer. My fingers land on a large hard cover with the title, ‘The Miracle of a Freed Nation’. What was an obvious choice in size and steadiness to prop my computer becomes an unexpected writing prompt. Other book options, within arm’s reach included: a signed copy of ‘Alias Grace’ by Margaret Atwood; Ansel Adam’s autobiography; ‘The Lives of Lee Miller’; and Andrea Diefenbach’s, ‘AIDS in Odessa’. Either one of those would have taken me in interesting directions, helped me draw on times in my life to express myself. But today I chose this. And, today is July 9th so why wouldn’t I expect such a coincidence (but I’ll get to that later).

Published by South Africa’s Sunday Times, ‘The Miracle of a Freed Nation’ is a book I bought in Johannesburg, 26 years ago. It chronicles, through press clippings, the country’s journey to democracy from F. W. de Klerk’s historic speech to parliament, in 1990 (that began the process of South African ‘reconciliation’) to images of newly elected president, Nelson Mandela, opening parliament, in 1994. Somewhere within the pages of this book, I was caught in another photographer’s ‘cross-hairs.’ The photo was taken in the ‘homeland’ of Bophuthatswana during an uprising, prior to the country’s first democratic elections. I’m standing with a group of journalists with my own camera directed at wounded right-wing extremists stranded with their car in the middle of a road. I had been one of the first on scene after shots were fired and had stood, camera raised, as one of the armed men slowly backed out of the vehicle, and laid down next to the driver, now dead beside the car. A third individual emerged from the back seat, also wounded, and fell to the ground with arms raised, asking for help. The photo in the book was taken minutes, if not seconds, before the men on the other side of my lens were executed in front of us.

That last sentence, I realize, probably needs more attention, but I’m moving on. I’m moving with the prompt of the book itself, taking a step back and outside of its pages to consider that time in my life. What it meant to me.

South Africa is where I met the person who was to become my husband — almost to the day, 25 years ago. He was/is Swiss. We weren’t inseparable from the start. I thought he was interesting. He was young; not my type. He grew on me. Then there was eventual geographical separation and longing which may or may not have been more for the person I was in South Africa than for him.

Our wedding was on July 9th, almost to the day, four years later, in a storybook castle in the highlands of Scotland. We divorced twelve years later. It took time, but the significance of that date, eventually began to fade. The anniversary loosened its grip and eventually began to pass without me noticing. Then as quickly as a hand reaching for a book that anchors me to a time and place, July 9th announced it wasn’t done with me yet.

Absurdly, the date was assigned to me by a doctor for my first chemotherapy treatment, the first of six. The cancer was aggressive, it was also in the lymph. I felt I was literally being told to not forget the toxicity of this day as bright pink chemicals were shot in my arm; as I resonated with the side effects that were inevitably going to take me over.

Five years later, on July 9th, I’m thinking about fairy-tale castles and chemo. One, for sure, was overkill, making up for lack of true connection to what was growing underneath. The other, probably was too. Five years later, I’m officially saying good-bye to July 9th. I realize you will always come around, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but I won’t be thinking of you.


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