The Boston Globe won Pulitzer Prizes for commentary and photography on Monday, earning multiple awards for the first time since 1984 and joining a wide-ranging group of honorees in journalism and the arts. The Globe photographer Jessica Rinaldi won for heartwrenching pictures that documented the hard life of a child in poverty.
Rinaldi’s series of pictures documenting the life of Strider Wolf, a Maine boy living in staggering poverty with the scars of past abuse, won in the Feature Photography category.
“Documentary photography is all about building relationships with your subjects,” said Rinaldi, 36, who learned she had won when an editor called her in Atlanta on Monday afternoon, where she’s photographing the Celtics opening round playoff series. “It allows you to be sort of a fly on the wall.”
She and reporter Sarah Schweitzer — a Pulitzer finalist last year — spent months with Strider and his family, visiting them again and again as they bounced between homes. One memorable picture showed Strider and another boy peering at the moon from the stripped remains of an old car.
“It’s such a metaphor, these two little boys standing on a car that’s not going anywhere but looking up at the moon,” Rinaldi said. “I was holding my breath and hoping it was in focus.”