The death of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi affected people on campus, the Menomonie community, people around the country and Hussain’s friends and family in Saudi Arabia. The memorial service that was held on November 3 inspired many people to speak about what an amazing person he was. The service also inspired pictures to be taken of people as they spoke about Hussain and the people that came to remember him.
Brett Roseman, University Photographer, was attending the service to capture moments for the Facebook galleries and university records. After taking the pictures he felt were most important to the event, he began to look for candid, creative moments that showed the story that was taking place during the memorial.
He took a picture of Tommy Hutson and Omar Alkohmos, two of Hussein’s closest friends, to show the impact that his death had on the people closest to him.
Roseman submitted this photo to PhotoShelter and then received a 2016 Libris Iconic Image Award. Out of nearly two hundred submissions, only sixteen images were selected to receive the award.
The day after the memorial when the photo was posted, many people reached out to Roseman to tell him what reactions his photos had inspired in them. Amy McGovern, Assistant Director of Housing, wrote him an email that said; “Wanted to drop you a note to say how amazing your photo coverage of Hussein’s death has been. It’s such a sad story and your photos are revealing the subtlety of how that sadness seeps into the cracks of communities, people and things, so beautiful and wrenching. The wiping of a tear with a scarf…oh my, how human and humane…thanks for sharing your ‘eye’ to tell this story.”
In addition to Amy McGovern’s email praising his work, Roseman has received many compliments from people on campus telling him how great the images were and how they made them feel.
Roseman says that while the goal was not to go to the memorial service and take a picture for an award, he saw the opportunity and wanted to capture the moment. He thought at first that he had missed it when Omar Alkohmos wiped a tear with his headscarf, but Roseman watched him for a while until it happened again and he could capture the moment.
Roseman first became interested in photojournalism back in high school. He took several photography courses during this time and was intrigued by the idea of a career in journalism.
He said that he liked to look at Life Magazine, and the photos that he saw there were an inspiration to go down that career path.
Before coming to Stout three years ago in May, Roseman worked for the Chicago Sun-Times for ten years. During that time he was awarded Chicago Journalist of the Year by the Chicago Journalists Association in September 2013. In addition to these awards, he has over fifty others for his work in photojournalism.
Roseman says that this award was nice to receive because it showed that his peers were appreciative of his work. He says that while he does look for moments outside of work to capture photos, it is not his sole focus, and he likes to reserve it for the best moments.