Hugh Grannum

Detroit Free Press

Known as a prolific image-maker and mentor to young photojournalists, Hugh Grannum’s artistic talents captured the essence of life in his photos. As he put it: “I learned to tell a story with a camera.”

For 37 years his photojournalism covered the pages of the Detroit Free Press and spanned the globe in museums and galleries in New York, Japan, Senegal, Toronto, Chicago and Detroit.

Grannum’s images appeared in Forbes, Ebony, Essence, Jet and Black Enterprise magazines, City Arts Quarterly, America 24/7 and Michigan 24/7 that featured the best photography in the state. His cinematography was on the silver screen through short films and documentaries, including “The Queen and Her Ministry” and “The Detroit Head Start Program.”

And, as an educator, he helped aspiring and professional photographers at several colleges and universities.

The Michigan Press Photographers Association, National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press, National Association of Black Journalists, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences honored Grannum’s ability to “tell a story with a camera.”

Grannum, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, began his career in 1966 and was a studio apprentice in New York while building his freelance business. In 1970, Grannum was offered a position as a staff photographer at the Detroit Free Press and retired in 2007. He died Jan. 11, 2013.