Interview of Stacy L. Pearsall by Paula Yarborough
March 19, 2014
Stacy L. Pearsall joined the Air Force at 17 and immediately took to military life. After working in military intelligence, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a combat photographer, a competitive and challenging assignment that would take her to Iraq for two deployments, in 2003 and 2007. Married to another combat photographer, Pearsall is one of only two women ever named Military Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association, and she is the only woman to ever win the award twice. She rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and, after attending Syracuse University to further her photography studies, she became a photojournalist, the highest rank for a combat photographer in the Armed Forces. In addition to other honors, she received a Bronze Star for valor in combat after she helped rescue fellow soldiers and provided medical assistance during an ambush in Iraq.
Pearsall is the author of two books: Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera and A Photojournalist’s Field Guide: In the Trenches with Combat Photographer Stacy Pearsall. Medically retired from the Air Force, she now spends her time teaching photography, speaking across the United States, and photographing former service members for the Veterans Portrait Project, which she started.