While Rufus's trainer, Ahmed Hassan (not pictured) introduces rufus to...

While Rufus's trainer, Ahmed Hassan (not pictured) introduces rufus to Emma's classmates, Emma Brussell leans over and gives her new Diabetic Alert Dog, Rufus, a kiss in her classroom at Woodward Parkway Elementay School on the afternoon of April 27, 2018. Diabetic Alert Dogs are service dogs that are highly trained to sense and alert their diabetic handlers in advance of high or low blood sugar events, before they become dangerous. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Veteran Newsday staff photographer Thomas A. Ferrara has been named the 2019 New York Press Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year.

Additionally, Newsday’s Alejandra Villa-Loarca and Megan Miller clinched a first-place prize for their work in the NYPPA’s 84th Annual Photography and Multimedia Contest for a long-form multimedia package “When You’re Ready.” And Newsday's Steve Pfost placed second in the Feature Picture Story category for “Press Run” and also received an Exhibit Award for “Recycling Fire.”

Newsday freelancer David Handschuh took second place in the General News category.

In all, Newsday photographers and video journalists received 20 awards in the contest.

“Tom Ferrara’s energy, creativity and passion are reflected in his work every day,” said Deborah Henley, editor of Newsday. “He is respected by his colleagues here, and he is immensely deserving of this much-coveted award and the recognition by his peers.”

John Keating, Newsday’s assistant managing editor/photography, said: “This is a great honor for Tom. He worked incredibly hard last year and produced a terrific portfolio of photographs. We are all very proud of him.”

Judges pored over as many as 1,700 images in the annual tournament, evaluating contestants' work from March 1 to March 3 at the City University of New York School of Journalism in Manhattan.

Photography judges were former New York Times staff photographer and picture editor Jose R. Lopez; Dr. Lauren Walsh, a professor of photojournalism at New York University; and Kim Chapin, deputy director of photography at The Boston Globe,

Multimedia entries were judged by Kayle Hope, a video journalist at NationSwell; Bob Sacha, a director, cinematographer, editor, teacher, photographer; and Nyier Abdou, a freelance video journalist, filmmaker, and multimedia producer.

The contest granted 16 first-place awards from multiple categories and evaluated the images’ versatility, content and quality.

“Ferrara’s portfolio stood out because of the variety of images that showed the strength and diversity of the photographer’s images,” said the three judges. The Photographer of the Year award was sponsored by Canon U.S.A. Inc.

Ferrara also received Exhibit awards for “Fisherman’s Sunset” in the Pictorial category and “Master Luthier, Charles Rutino” in the Portrait category, “The Bullpen” and “Scanning Stanton” in the Sports feature category as well as an Honorable Mention in the Feature category for “The Mermaids of Long Island.”

Newsday’s Chris Ware gained an Honorable Mention in the Multimedia Long Form category for “Able,” as did Jeffrey Basinger, Raychel Brightman, Robert Cassidy and Randee Daddona for “We Are Brentwood.”                              

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