Jeanie Adams-Smith

Jeanie Adams-Smith was a judge in the 2023 v03 Contest

For the past 16 years Jeanie Adams-Smith has been a professor in the photojournalism department at Western Kentucky University, one of the top college programs in the country. Jeanie is an award-winning photojournalist and has published three books of her photography. Jeanie’s multiple awards range from Kentucky Photographer of the Year in 2006 to first place in Pictures of the Year International for a multimedia piece of children of divorce in 2000.

In the past several years, Jeanie has traveled twice to Cuba, documenting the everyday lives of people in Old Havana. She has also been to Western Ireland documenting farming culture. The work has won her several regional and national awards. Currently she is working on a book project, The Doorways of Old Havana, which will feature her work from Cuba.

Jeanie has won international awards for her social documentary photographs, including work for Planned Parenthood, Vanderbilt’s Burn Unit for children, and projects on brain injury and survivors of rape and sexual assault. One of Jeanie’s largest projects documented children coping with divorce. Her book Survivors: Children of Divorce, was nominated by WKU for a Pulitzer Prize entry in non-fiction literature.

Before coming to Western, Jeanie was a photo editor at the Chicago Tribune. Most of her time was spent as the National/Foreign Picture Editor, which included researching and assigning photographs for the national and foreign bureaus and working on many of the Tribune’s special projects, including Killing Our Children, a year-long documentary on the children murdered in Chicago in 1993, that won the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Journalism.

Jeanie has been a photo editing coach for the Mountain Workshop, has spoke at national conferences, like Southwestern Photojournalism Conference and she has judged national and regional photo competitions, including White House News Photographers Association, Photographer of the Year International , Society of Newspaper and Design and Ohio, Michigan and Indiana State POY contests.

Adams-Smith has been married 19 years to her husband David, and they share the joy of raising their 12-year-old daughter.