Emerging Civil War has selected photographer Chris Heisey as the recipient of its 2023 Emory Upton Award. The award is presented to a member of the Emerging Civil War (ECW) community in recognition of outstanding service to ECW.
“One of my great pleasures as editor in chief at ECW is when I get to open a batch of Chris’s photos and look them over,” said ECW’s Chris Mackowski. “I might spend a half an hour looking at a dozen photos, each one more stunning than the last. I just savor my time with them because they’re so beautiful.”
Heisey’s work was well known to ECW years before he joined the organized because he used to do so much photography back in the days of the Civil War Trust. “When he started contributing photography to ECW, I was a bit star-struck, to be honest, because here was this nationally renowned photographer bringing his beautiful images to ECW,” said Mackowski. “I felt so lucky to have him join us. And then I found out just how humble and friendly and unassuming he is. He’s just a joy to work with.”
While Heisey has continued to contribute photo-based pieces to the blog, Mackowski particularly lauded the contributions Heisey has made to the Emerging Civil War 10th Anniversary Series. “The covers of those books all feature one of Chris’s stunning photos, which has just made all of those books look so sharp. They jump at you,” Mackowski said. “Inside, each includes a photo essay by Chris that offers some insights into how he has approached his photography in different places over the years.”
Of special note, Mackowski, added, is Heisey’s willingness to do whatever he can to help the ECW cause. “Whenever I ask if he can contribute something, he’s quick to say, ‘Whatever you need, General’ or ‘How can I help, General?’ Chris is always so eager to pitch in,” Mackowski said.
The Upton Award is named for Brig. Gen. Emory Upton, a member of the West Point Class of 1861 who earned a reputation in the U.S. Army as an innovator. Previous recipients include Dan Welch, Paige Gibbons Backus, Rob Orrison, Sarah Kay Bierle, Kris White, Jennifer Mackowski, and Chris Mackowski.
You can read Chris Heisey’s full biography here. However, we would like to allow Chris’s work to speak for itself: