Melanie Burford

Based in Brooklyn, NY  |  Currently in   |   +1.917.971.3409  |

About Melanie Burford

Melanie Burford

Melanie Burford explores long-term projects that blend documentary photography with investigative journalism. She was part of the team of Dallas Morning News photographers who received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. In 2009 she won the Emmy Award for her portfolio of video documentary work at the Lone Star Emmy Advanced Media Awards. Melanie’s work has been recognized at the 74th annual National Headliner Awards, the Harry Chapin Media Awards, the Clarion Awards, the Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year International. A part-time adjunct professor at The Journalism School at Columbia University, her passion for teaching has gained her keynote speaking roles, including the Kodak Seminar Series touring Australia and New Zealand in 2008. Originally from New Zealand, Melanie’s career began in 1990, working at The Evening Post before moving to America in 1999, becoming a staff photographer at The Dallas Morning News in 2003 and moving to New York in 2009.


The Monster Under the Water by Melanie Burford

In the first weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded last April 20, Jason Melerine, like most Louisiana fishermen, feared the worst: that the cocktail of oil and dispersant would immediately kill the state’s already fragile fishing industry. His worry consumed him. He pulled patches of hair from his chin and his leg. He landed in the hospital with migraines. He contemplated suicide.
“For us, it’s a life, it’s what we love to do,” said Melerine, whose four children eat crab so often they complain about it. “It’s what we know to do. Water is my life.”

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A Mother’s Will by Melanie Burford

Four-year-old Michelle was raped, the offender spent a year in Juvenile Detention. Juli, Michelle’s mother, was forced to quit her factory job and try to put her daughter’s life back together. The only job that gave Juli the time to be with Michelle was driving a school bus where they spend most of their time together, almost seven hours each day. This is about the lengths a mother goes to to protect her child. In a broader sense it’s about what parents are willing to sacrifice for their children. “She’s my everything. She’s the reason… read more.

The Fight for Sugar Hill by Melanie Burford

Sugar Hill is a housing project in Texas’ richest county that has endured 40 years of economic and racial isolation. Rock Carpenter is a struggling pastor drawn inside the gates by a stubborn faith. This photographic narrative follows the Jacksons, a family who was part of his ministry, for three years through the illness and death of their matriarch, Gloria, and their constant struggle against poverty.

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Blind Faith by Melanie Burford

James McCray and 19 dejected family members fled New Orleans, chased by the rising waters from Hurricane Katrina. They arrive in Dallas, exhausted, lost, until they meet Sue Sandford, the single mother of four who took them in from a shelter and was ultimately swept into the force that was the McCray family. Within days, the two families from radically different backgrounds would form a lasting bond. The McCrays find themselves determined but scarred, much like the city itself, trying to steady themselves and rebuild the happy lives they led before Katrina washed away everything. Fractured… read more.

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