Ken Burns to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Professional Photographers of America

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The critically acclaimed filmmaker will deliver acceptance remarks to the convention’s attendees on January 17

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It’s not often someone changes our daily culture in such a seamless and beautiful way, but Ken Burns has done just that.

Internationally renowned filmmaker Ken Burns will accept Professional Photographers of America’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at Imaging USA, the largest convention in the photographic industry. Imaging USA will be held virtually January 17-19. Burns, whose career spans more than 40 years, is credited with sparking renewed public interest in American history thanks in large part to the extensive use of archival photography in his films. From Brooklyn Bridge to the Country Music series, he has produced some of the most critically acclaimed and most watched documentaries on public television.

Born in Brooklyn in 1953, Burns graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, before co-founding Florentine Films in 1976. His technique of panning and zooming over still photographs has become so reproduced in movies and television that it’s referred to as the “Ken Burns Effect.”

The PPA Lifetime Achievement Award is one of the many accolades that the filmmaker has received during his career. Burns has won 16 Emmy Awards and 2 Oscar nominations, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Ken Burns’s unique and brilliant vision of how photographic images are communicated in an effective story is embedded so deeply in our profession,” PPA President Gregory Daniel said. “The Ken Burns Effect is used in virtually every slideshow with music or voiceover to help communicate our stories through photographic imagery. It’s not often someone changes our daily culture in such a seamless and beautiful way, but Ken Burns has done just that.”

Since 2000, PPA has recognized individuals whose life's work has enriched the photographic industry and the profession as a whole with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Burns will be presented with the award virtually on Sunday, January 17, at Imaging USA. To register, visit

About PPA:
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest and longest-standing nonprofit photography trade association. Founded in 1868, PPA helps 30,000 professionals elevate their craft and grow their business with resources and education, all under PPA’s core guiding principle of bridging the gap between photographers and their consumers. To learn more, visit

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