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Alumna captures Egypt's uprising among her many adventures as a photojournalist

July 19, 2013

She watched history unfold in Egypt, and her photos document the country’s political strife. Loyola University New Orleans alumna and photojournalist for The Christian Science Monitor Ann Hermes ’05 was there on assignment this June just before the protests erupted and President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in a military coup.

Her recent photos capture life in rural Egypt along the Nile River, where she witnessed calls to protest, lawlessness, looting, regular power cuts and shortages of many basic needs. Previously, she was in Egypt in 2011 during the revolution, capturing images of the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

“It’s fascinating, frustrating and often heartbreaking to watch history unfold there,” Hermes said. “I hope to revisit Egypt soon.”

While covering the uprisings in Egypt is hard to top, Hermes has had her share of adventures in the U.S., Germany, Lebanon, South Korea, Kosovo and Canada since she first began as a photo intern for the newspaper, eventually securing a staff photographer position in fall 2010. She has photographed two remote ranches in Montana for a story about eco-conscious ranching, where she even helped herd cattle by horse and ATV.

“Really, from photographing independent bookstores to kimchi factories in Seoul, I almost always shake my head and ask, ‘Is this really my job?’ I’m incredibly lucky,” Hermes said.

“The talent seen in Ann’s work is incredible; she paints such a vivid picture of today’s current events,” said Sonya F. Duhé, Ph.D., Loyola professor and director of the School of Mass Communication. “Not only is this a testament to our students and the quality of work they do, it is strong evidence of our faculty and staff who are committed to Loyola students and their success.”

Hermes, who graduated from the School of Mass Communication, credits Loyola with helping her along in her career. “I discovered photojournalism at Loyola,” she said. “Working on The Maroon was a game changer, and I made some terrific friends on the paper.”

Her mentors include university photographer Harold Baquet, Loyola’s A. Louis Read Distinguished Professor in Communication Leslie Parr, Ph.D., and former instructor Liz Scott, who collectively helped her first with basic exposure and reporting techniques, then went on to show her how to work ethically and respectfully. “Their kindness and open-minded approach continues to shape the way I work on a daily basis,” Hermes said.

Baquet recalls her photographic promise even as a young student. “She possessed an intense photographic curiosity and realized that interesting people make for interesting photography—she came to master both mediums,” Baquet said. “She was hard working, confident and brave—the perfectly well-rounded Ignatian warrior. She’s out there setting the world on fire right now.”

View some of Hermes’ work on her website.

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