Celebrating Women Photographers: Gina Ferazzi

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Los Angeles Times photography department would like to

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Los Angeles Times photography department would like to highlight our award-winning female staff photographers.

Gina Ferazzi grew up in the small New England town of Longmeadow, Mass. Her passion for photography began when she started using her dad’s rangefinder camera. In eighth grade, she built a darkroom in a basement closet where she would develop her film.

Ferazzi has been with The Times since 1994. Her body of work encompasses a wide range of topics from presidential campaigns, professional sporting events, natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, and staff Pulitzer Prizes for Breaking News in 2016 for the San Bernardino terrorist attack and in 2004 for the wildfires that ravaged California.

On any given day I can drive 350 miles roundtrip for a story or just a mile from home. The distance doesn’t matter. I enjoy telling stories through my camera lens and capturing the emotions of the moment.

Gina Ferazzi

Jim Kilgore runs from a ball of flame as he tries to save his house off 40th Street in north San Bernardino from a firestorm that started Oct. 25, 2003, in the San Bernardino National Forest. The fires raged for more than 11 days, destroyed 3,500 homes and left 23 people dead. Many homeowners had little time to gather belongings. Thousands were kept away from their homes for days, not knowing if they had a house to return to.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Hockey players fight on the ice

Officials break up a fight between the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals at Jobing.com Arena on May 13, 2012. The Kings won 4-2.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A fighter strikes another in the face.

Andre Berto gets a direct hit in the face from Steve Forbes during the WBC Welterweight title fight Sept. 27, 2008, at Home Depot Center in Carson.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

IN THE FACE

It had been years since I had photographed boxing, probably going back to my early years working in Maine. I was trying out the latest Nikon digital camera which I knew produced excellent results at high ISOs. I put the camera to the test and set the ISO to 3200. Later on, I realized I could have pushed it much higher.

The high ISO allowed me to shoot at a fast shutter speed, which is what you need to capture the quick hand movements in boxing. I was very happy with the result.

Gina Ferazzi

Evacuating hospital patients wait on stretchers and in wheelchairs

Hundreds of hospital patients, including people injured in Hurricane Katrina, line the floor in front of ticket counters Sept. 1, 2005, at the New Orleans International Airport. National Guard planes lined the tarmac to take the patients to hospitals in other states.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A woman looks around while another kneels by someone who's fallen

A woman frantically looks for help after an elderly woman fell to the tarmac after being evacuated to New Orleans International Airport on Sept. 2, 2005.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A man  stands by a burned truck and lifts a hand to his face

A firefighter from the U.S. Forest Service mourns Nov. 1, 2006, as he visits the site where five firefighters were killed one week earlier battling the Esperanza fire in Twin Pines.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A girl stands in a spotlight on a blue stage

Elenora Benetti, 9, sings the Italian national anthem during opening ceremonies for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

ITALY OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY

I was in Turin, Italy, covering the Winter Olympics in 2006.

During the Opening Ceremony you are given an assigned seat. Having covered previous Olympics, I knew you could discreetly leave your assigned seat. So, that’s what I did here, moving to the far end of the stadium for a cleaner background.

I saw the graphic horizontal lines and knew I wanted to frame the 9 -year-old singer perfectly.

It was one of those moments when the light, lines and subject all came together.

Gina Ferazzi

Medical workers in protective gear surround a patient

A nurse holds a COVID-19 patient’s hand before she is intubated by a medical team led by pulmonologist Dr. Laren Tan, right, on Dec. 15 in the ICU at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The hospital’s Dr. Michael Matus said they were admitting more than 15 patients a day and had added five additional COVID units in addition to the ICU. Many of the ICU patients have underlying health issues. Once those patients get COVID, “it’s a marathon that they can’t run,” said Tan.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A girl dances alone in a lighted home as night falls

Grace Carter, 15, of Riverside practices her dance routine in the isolation of her bedroom March 31, 2020, after her dance classes and school were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On this Tuesday night, Carter would normally be at her dance studio practicing for an upcoming competition. Instead, she has to use the Zoom app on her iPhone to practice with her dance group. “It’s hard. My bedroom is a smaller space. I miss all my friends at the studio, ” she said. “It’s harder using Zoom because there is a delay in the music, but it’s the best way right now.”

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

People watch Dodger Stadium in the distance at sunset

Season ticket holder Keith Hupp, left, and David Lopez watch the Dodgers play the San Francisco Giants from a distant overlook Aug. 8, 2020. They are listening to the game on the radio since they are too far away to hear the sounds from the stadium, where fans had been banned.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A man lies on the ground screaming as bystanders try to help

A demonstrator screams in pain after being injured while running from nonlethal rounds fired by Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies during a protest June 1 in Riverside after the death of George Floyd. Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of downtown, and police allowed them to stay 90 minutes after the 6 p.m. curfew.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT

I was in Riverside, CA covering a peaceful BLM protest. The event was for the first few hours.

But, as the curfew approached, I began to see new faces on scene. People carrying backpacks, carrying sticks and wearing knee pads. I thought the scene might turn violent and it did.

Law enforcement began advancing on protesters who would not disperse. Sheriff’s deputies began firing plastic pellets and tear gas. Protesters responded by throwing fireworks at the cops.

I ducked behind building pillars to avoid getting hit, but at the same time trying to photograph the active and fluid scene. The man on the ground was injured as he was running from the rounds of plastic pellets. Other protesters helped him get to a safe place and surrounded him.

He screamed in pain. There seems to be a “medic” at all these protests. That person is identified by the red cross on his knapsack.

I ducked behind building pillars to avoid getting hit, but at the same time trying to photograph the active and fluid scene.

Gina Ferazzi

Workers help people in wheelchairs outside in smoky air.

With visibility near zero, healthcare workers evacuate residents from the Riverside Heights Healthcare Center as the Hillside fire grows dangerously close Oct. 30, 2019, in Jurupa Valley.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Windmills loom behind a road being covered with drifting sand

Gusting winds blow large sand dunes onto Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, forcing the road to be closed, on March 1, 2011.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A woman reaches for a dog being carried from a burned home

Bronson Payne carries his dog Rocky to safety and the arms of his sister, Anya Bannasch, after finding him hiding in the back of his burned family home after it was destroyed in the Poinsettia fire May 14, 2014, in Carlsbad. Rocky’s fur was burned on his back, but he seemed happy to be found. In the background, smoke billows from an industrial blaze sparked by the wildfire.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A helicopter drops water on burning mobile homes.

A helicopter drops water on burning homes Oct. 10, 2019, at Villa Calimesa mobile home park in Calimesa during the Sandalwood fire. One person died and most of the mobile homes were lost. Extreme Santa Ana wins ignited many wildfires around Southern California.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

SANDALWOOD FIRE

On this day, I remember the sheriff’s deputies were giving me and another photographer a “hard time” about entering the property to take photos. I informed them of the media law that allows me to be there and kept doing my job.

I took some initial photos and then went back to my car to edit and transmit. As the sun was setting, I knew I wanted to go back the active fire area to shoot more. It was then I was able to photograph the dramatic scene of the helicopter water drop as the firefighters were still battling the blaze.

Because of California’s media law, we are able to show the public dramatic and story-telling moments that they would not otherwise be able to see.

Gina Ferazzi

Sheriff's deputies behind a van with guns drawn

San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies crouch behind a minivan Dec. 2, 2015, during an active search for the suspects after the mass shooting that killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. It was the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A Dodgers player breaks a bat on a pitch

The Dodgers’ Rafael Furcal breaks his bat on a pitch by Yankees CC Sabathia in the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 25, 2010.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A woman touches a name at a cemetery

As the setting sun casts a warm glow on Veterans Day 2009, Virginia Ramirez of Claremont puts both hands on the name of her high school sweetheart, Vietnam veteran Ricky Nelson, at the columbarium at Riverside Memorial Veterans Cemetery.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

VETERANS DAY

My assignment on this Veterans Day 2009, was to go to Riverside National Cemetery and find a compelling feature for the day.

I initially photographed some people at grave sites, but having photographed at the cemetery before, I knew as the sunset arrived, the light would be beautiful on parts of the columbarium.

So I waited near the columbarium in hopes someone would come by to pay their respects. The waiting paid off and so did the amazing light.

As a photojournalist, I am a firm believer in staying late, going back or just turning back around before you leave a scene.

Gina Ferazzi

A child walks through the burned rubble of a home.

Wyatt Spellman, 5, stands on what used to be his small bed in the smoldering rubble of his family’s home on Oct. 27, 2003. Most of the homes in his Devore neighborhood were destroyed by wildfire.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Fire trucks drive past a wall of flame

Firefighters drive their trucks next to a wall of flame during the Falls fire on Highway 74, just above Lake Elsinore on the Ortega Highway, on Aug. 5, 2013.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Two couples dancing outdoors stop to kiss

Country fans stop and smooch between stages at dusk during the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio on May 4, 2008.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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